Emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, and biosensors that respond to heat, blood content, breath, and sweat can be as fascinating as they are forward-looking. Occasionally, however, we come across a practical, wearable health tech product that relates directly to a health and lifestyle issue but doesn’t require esoteric materials or processes. Sleep.ai‘s Anti-Snore Wearable is such a product.ton
Snoring can occur when people sleep on their back and their airway becomes partially obstructed, resulting in the vibration of soft tissue that produces the sounds we know as snoring. Snoring interferes with your own sleep, as well as the sleep of others who are nearby. People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) almost all snore, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA). Just because someone snores does not mean they have OSA. It’s prudent to check with medical professionals if someone snores chronically, especially if their snoring is irregular. The ASAA estimates about half of the people who snore have OSA. Sleep.ai has a free iOS and Android “Do I Snore” app that can detect the sounds of bruxism (grinding teeth), snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea. You can use the app to record nighttime noise and then send or take the sound samples to your doctor or dentist for a professional evaluation.
Among people who snore but do not have OSA, about 70 percent only snore when they sleep on their back, according to Sleep.ai. When they move to their side the snoring stops. Many people who sleep with chronic snorers learn to poke their bedmate to prompt the snorer to switch to sleeping their side, thereby stopping the snoring. This is the principle behind the relatively low-tech Anti-Snore Wearable solution. Before going to bed the snorer puts the Anti-Snore Wearable around the bicep of one arm and turns it on. If the app detects snoring sounds during the night, it signals the Anti-Snore Wearable via Bluetooth to vibrate. The vibration replaces a bedmate’s pokes and — assuming the sleeper wakes up and moves to their side — the snoring stops.
The Anti-Snore Wearable is currently in a Kickstarter campaign. The power of the wearable vibration and the snoring sound level that triggers it can both be adjusted with the app. The history of all recording sessions is kept on your device so you can review what noises you actually make while sleeping and potentially link behaviors such as drinking too much, smoking, eating too late, or taking medication with the quality of sleep as it relates to snoring and other noises.
The Anti-Snoring Wearable does not work for the 30 percent of all snorers who snore while sleeping on their sides. It’s also not a medical device and is not intended to detect or diagnose medical problems. According to the Kickstarter campaign, the Anti-Snoring Wearable will not be funded unless the 100,000 euros ($106,067) goal is reached. If the project does go forward, the relative simplicity of the concept and its use will likely find an active market.