Tired of sleeping with a snorer!?
A mobile application, called Snoring U, by Personal Technologies – Health Monitoring (PTech HM), has been designed to “nudge” sleepers when they snore and “chart” their snoring activities throughout the night.
Users are advised to place their device – iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch – as near as possible to their mouth, such as a nightstand. The application continues working even after the screen locks and the device goes into sleep mode. The “nudge,” a sound or vibration, is triggered by an algorithm set that is applied to noise level, noise pattern and the desired user behavior.
The app also records your sleep and charts noise levels through a noise gauge, allowing users to view and listen to their sleep session. When they wake up, a summary shows how long they slept, how often they snored during the night, how loud their snoring was and how many “nudges” they received. This is meant to help users gradually reduce snoring and help identify abnormal sleep patterns.
The application was developed with the help of Dr. Naveh Tov, an Israeli physician specializing in internal pulmonary and sleep medicine.
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Measuring heart rates
Snoring U was launched in 2009 and PTech HM is now releasing a “sister application” called HeartWorks, which monitors heart rate. PTech HM wants to integrate Snoring U with the newly released HeartWorks, so as to provide users with a simple way to measure and detect sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. PTech CEO Ilan Aisic explains that sleep apnea can be corroborated if “changes in heart rate happen at the same time when the sleeper makes abnormal snoring sounds.”
HeartWorks must be used in conjunction with a chest strap (sold separately) and a monitor that lies above the heart and records the beats. The strap connects via Bluetooth to a mobile device and the app then saves the information and uses an algorithm to convert these beats into a readable set of charts and graphs.
Using multiple sessions, the application can also create statistics about different sleep sessions. Though the software does not attempt to analyze the data automatically, except for common statistics like median, average, etc., “users can see abnormalities if they examine the graphs closely,” claims Aisic. However, users should consult a physician if they notice such abnormalities, since the software cannot tell what their broader meaning is.
Investment so far has come from the founders’ pockets, but PTech HM says it is currently searching for further investors. The company plans to white-label the integrated software to more easily market it to hospitals and health organizations.
Since its release, Snoring U has had more than 50,000 downloads and HeartWorks has been downloaded by about 15,000 users since its release in February 2012. Snoring U can be downloaded from the Apple Store for $4.99 and HeartWorks can be bought for $2.99, though the accompanying strap – as suggested by the creators – sold by Wahoo Fitness, a fitness product company, can cost up to $79.99.