Fitbit wants to detect sleep apnea

The world leader in connected objects of quantified self wants to use its wearables to detect sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea affects millions of patients, but most of them are not properly diagnosed. Manufacturers of wearables refocus the uses of their products on medical applications rather than fitness or play.

An incorrectly detected syndrome

Still little known to the general public, sleep apnea affects between 5% and 15% of the adult population according to recent studies.

And this is a real problem, 90% of people with sleep apnea would not be aware.

Sleep apnea is characterized by stopping or decreasing respiratory flow during sleep. It is therefore a decrease in the oxygen level in the blood and many micro-alarms. Such a sleep disorder can lead to serious consequences (hypertension, stroke, depression, libido disorder, etc.)

The solution of connected objects?

As a manufacturer of connected objects to measure sports activity and quality of life, Fitbit has gradually oriented the use of its products towards measuring the quality of its users’ sleep.

Since the Alta HR bracelet, Fitbit insists on this point by proposing the analysis of the quality of the and wants to logically go even further.

Conor Heneghan, Head of Research at Fitbit, told CNBC that his company is actively developing a sensor to detect sleep apnea.

The idea would be to allow future Fitbit connected objects to integrate the ability to measure and analyze these nocturnal apneas. For this, an algorithm will be developed to cross the heart rate data and the oxygen level in the blood using an optical sensor.

According to recent studies, sleep apnea may represent a potential market estimated at $ 6.7 billion in 2021, according to Research and Markets.

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