Alphabet subsidiary Verily has teamed up with ResMed to study and explore treatments for sleep apnea.
ResMed, who will exhibiting at our WT | Wearable Technologies Show MEDICA on November 12-15 in Düsseldorf, manufactures remote monitoring devices and software for sleep apnea patients. Combined with Verily’s data analytics technologies, the two companies plan to develop new software with advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities, Dr. Carlos Nunez, chief medical officer at ResMed, said in an email to MobiHealthNews. The goal is to develop software that can be used by healthcare professionals to identify, diagnose, treat and manage sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain — and the rest of the body — may not get enough oxygen. You may have sleep apnea if you snore loudly, and you feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and Central sleep apnea. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80% of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea remain undiagnosed.
“At ResMed, we say our greatest competitor is ignorance, meaning the greatest hurdle to giving patients the life-changing benefits of therapy is simply identifying, screening and diagnosing them,” Nunez wrote. “Right now, nearly 1 billion people worldwide have sleep apnea, and approximately 80 percent don’t know they have it, meaning they live every day with the immediate effects and long-term risks that come with this disease. ResMed and Verily’s joint venture intends to research and develop the type of software solutions that help healthcare providers identify these patients much more efficiently.”
The companies haven’t disclosed how much money they’re investing or named the venture as of yet haven’t. However, their focus is on sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. This is not the first time that Verily has partnered with a life sciences company, currently, the company is working with Johnson & Johnson on an effort called Verb Surgical to develop a next-generation surgical robot.
When it comes to sleep sector, Verily has dipped its toe before. In April the company announced a long-term partnership with Duke University School of Medicine and Stanford Medicine to compile a comprehensive health dataset. The Project Baseline study will include under-the-mattress sensors that monitors sleep habits, and also let participants track their sleep habits, according to American Academy of Sleep Medicine.