This story touches on two major themes about Health Tech devices. It’s a story about devices that disappear into our daily lives. And it’s about one of the big take-aways from CES 2017; devices need to prove their accuracy in order to be successful. In this case, it’s a device that monitors a person’s biometric indicators while sleeping, but the implications reach much further than just a good night’s sleep.
LIVE is a monitor from EarlySense. It is a small disc that you simply slip under the mattress of the person to be monitored. It plugs into a wall power outlet, and you don’t need to do anything else to the sensor disc. A companion app on a smartphone will find and connect to the device, and provide access to the data recorded each night. It does the same things that many sleep trackers do, such as record the different levels of sleep throughout the night, and providing a sleep score. It also has a “smart” alarm that wakes you at an optimal point in your sleep cycle. It does much more, however. It detects heart and breathing rates, as well as motion and whether the person has gotten out of bed. It can also generate alerts that are sent to family members or caregivers if the rates go outside user-defined limits, or if the person has been out of the bed beyond a set time limit. This system can be useful to individuals to track their own physical health while sleeping, but EarlySense also offers an option (which requires a monthly subscription) that allows family members or caregivers to monitor the data and receive alerts remotely.
The second part of the story is accuracy, and it comes from the fact that EarlySense is a market leader in contact-free continuous monitoring systems for patients in hospitals. Their systems aid in the early detection of patient deterioration, which results in better outcomes and reduced costs because problems can be dealt with early before they reach a crisis condition. Their advanced analytics based on their extensive experience with patient data makes their system more accurate and useful. And they have the numbers to prove it; a clinical test demonstrated that the LIVE system is 92.5% as accurate as the wired polysomnography (PSG) testing process used in sleep clinics.
This is just one of many examples we found at CES 2017 where companies with years of experience in clinical settings are bringing their technology to products and services intended for the consumer market. As a result, they have high standards for accuracy that few startups can match. This is a trend that is going to raise the bar for what is acceptable performance for personal Health Tech devices.