Withings, a consumer health device maker, has recently updated their sleep sensor mat to track breathing abnormalities that could indicate sleep apnea. This feature is available through a free update and builds upon Withing Sleep’s existing functions that monitor heart rate, sleep cycles, and snoring. The device compiles this data and generates a score for the user as well as suggestions through the Health Mate App.
Respiration rate, heart rate, motion, and snoring are tracked by the system to document events throughout the night. Disturbances are chronologically mapped out for the user, ranked by severity, and displayed with information regarding breathing disturbances that could require medical attention.
Withings states that the new feature can be used to identify and research sleep apnea and that they plan to develop a function of Withings Sleep dedicated to sleep apnea detection by the end of this year. This endeavor is pending regulatory approval by the FDA and CE.
Breathing disturbances are common, however they frequently go unnoticed or falsely identified as regular snoring. Breathing disturbances of elevated frequency and intensity can cause impaired sleep quality and are often indicative of sleep apnea, cardiovascular disorders, and even depression. The new breathing feature added to the Withings Sleep device offers an early warning system to consumers, allowing them to identify breathing abnormalities that are often overlooked.
The free update was developed and tested by Dr. Pierre Escourrou, a leading sleep physician. These tests were conducted at the Paris-Béclère hospital sleep lab via polysomnography analysis, an effective technique in sleep diagnostics.
Founded in 2008, Withings has created a range of awarded products in the healthcare market, including activity trackers, connected scales, a wireless blood pressure monitor, and an advanced sleep system. Each piece of data collected uses the companion Health Mate app that provides coaching, motivation, and advice regarding health. The Withings Sleep device itself is a mat that fits under the user’s mattress and provides in depth data regarding sleep. The device is available for $99.95 on their site and Amazon.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep condition, but is largely undiagnosed. The National Sleep Foundation reports that the disease affects 22 million Americans, with 80% of them unaware of their condition. The condition is characterized by abnormal halting of breath occurring in sleep and can lead to excessive drowsiness in the daytime. If untreated, sleep apnea can give rise to hypertension and other cardiovascular complications. Obesity, depression, and type 2 diabetes are also known to be tethered to the condition.
“Despite its prevalence and serious consequences, sleep apnea goes largely undetected as current tests are confined to the clinical and sleep lab environment,” said Eric Carreel, President of Withings. “By allowing people to track the intensity of breathing disturbances, we are helping them identify warning signs early. This announcement is very important as it furthers our mission to bring medical grade analytics into the home and is the first step towards the medical certification of sleep apnea detection which we aim for by the end of this year.”
— Rock Health (@Rock_Health) March 13, 2019