World Sleep Day: Diagnosing chronic respiratory diseases from within the bedroom

World Sleep Day: Diagnosing chronic respiratory diseases from within the bedroom
Thought LeadersMax SiegholdCo-Founder and CFOSleepiz

For World Sleep Day 2022, News-Medical speaks to Max Sieghold, Co-Founder and CFO of Sleepiz, about their technology and its ability to diagnose sleep apnea from the bedroom. 

Please can you introduce yourself, tell us about your background in sleep research and chronic respiratory disorders, and what inspired your latest research?

My Name is Max Sieghold and I am the Co-Founder and CFO of Sleepiz. At Sleepiz we work with a large team of experts, data scientists, engineers, and medical key opinion leaders in sleep medicine, respiratory diseases, and intensive care monitoring to bring revolutionary technology into patients’ homes.

The mismatch between today’s status quo in medical technology and the amazing potentials in data science and microelectronics inspired us to develop novel approaches in sleep and respiratory medicine to monitor patients at home to improve health care outcomes.

The slogan for World Sleep Day 2022 is ‘Quality Sleep, Sound Mind, Happy World’. What does this slogan mean to you, and how would you define ‘quality sleep’?

We spend one-third of our lifetime sleeping and sleep plays a crucial role in our physical and mental wellbeing. Yet many aspects of our sleep are still poorly understood and not measured. We want to shed light on this huge part of our lives. Quality sleep means 8 hours of regular, undisturbed, and “healthy” (I.e. non-sleep disordered) sleep.

Image Credit: Sleepiz

Using machine-learning algorithms and low-power electromagnetic waves, Sleepiz AG has developed a revolutionary and patient-centered approach for diagnosing sleep apnea. How does the apnea screening platform work, and what are some of the benefits of using a contactless device to measure, monitor, and analyze sleep data?

The system works by detecting micro-and macro movements of the patient during sleep using radar. This means we can detect the breathing patterns, breathing rate, pulse rate, and overall body movement of the patient. This data is then analyzed using machine learning algorithms to identify sleep disorders like sleep apnea, sleep phases, and movement disorders. Additionally, we can observe trend changes in any of these parameters which give us more information about the underlying issues the patient might have.

The benefits are three-fold. Firstly we can monitor in the most natural state, as the patient does not have to wear anything. Secondly, we can monitor over long periods (technically forever), and thirdly we do not require any compliance from the patient, like charging a wearable or remembering to wear something before going to bed. This makes our solution accessible to anyone anywhere.

People with sleep apnea face potential risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Please can you tell us more about the importance of correctly diagnosing and treating sleep apnea, and provide more details into what potential risks occur when sleep apnea is left undiagnosed?

Untreated sleep apnea carries both short-term and long-term risks. In the short run, the likelihood of workplace and traffic accidents increases significantly, next to the impact on quality of life due to daytime fatigue. In the long run, we know that there are causal links between hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and mental health. For example, a study from Harvard Medical School and McKinsey estimated the cost of mental health of unmanaged moderate-to-severe OSAS to be $3.2-4k per year per patient. Other links to renal failure and depression are established but further research is necessary.

In the current patient pathway we face three problems; lack of awareness in the general population and medical community, bottlenecks in cumbersome diagnosis methods leading to long waiting times and high cost, and therapies like CPAP that have very low patient compliance. By increasing awareness, enabling access to easier diagnostic procedures, and promoting therapies that have higher patient compliance, we can reduce the overall burden of sleep apnea on society.

Image Credit: Pixel-Shot/

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is another prominent and deadly respiratory disease, with 250 million sufferers worldwide, according to the WHO. How can the Sleepiz device also be used to help monitor and manage chronic respiratory diseases like COPD?

COPD patients typically suffer from exacerbations (sudden worsening of the disease) a few times a year, depending on their disease progression. If those exacerbations are not detected early on, they can lead to severe outcomes and hospitalization.

Through respiratory monitoring during sleep one can identify these exacerbations early on, this is because sleep acts as a seismograph of the patients’ overall health, and changes in the baseline vital signs can often be detected the earliest during sleep. This enables earlier intervention and improves patient outcomes through early treatment. This does not only benefit the patient by potentially reducing morbidity but also reduces cost for payors.

How do you believe we can lessen the burden of sleep problems in society, and do you think we can achieve this through better prevention and management of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea and COPD?

We can lessen the burden by educating the population about the importance of sleep on your overall health and about what healthy really sleep means: sleeping 8 hours every night, observing the basic rules of sleep hygiene like regular sleeping times. Additionally, we can raise awareness about the symptoms and available treatments for physiological and neurological sleep disorders.

Enabling patients to access easy-to-use and widely available screening solutions like Sleepiz, allows us to detect problems early on and to treat them with the right therapies. Awareness is rising both in the general and medical population, however, we still have a long way to go. At some point, we hope that sleep health gains the same level of attention as good nutrition or regular exercise.

Image Credit: Katt_Polyakova/

What’s next for Sleepiz?

We are looking to expand our services globally. Currently, our products are available in the EU and India. Additionally, we are building more integrated services for patients, such that we can accompany them not only in screening, diagnosis, and monitoring but also in therapy and disease management.

Where can readers find more information?

    • Youtube
    • LinkedIn

About Max Sieghold

I am the CFO and Co-Founder of Sleepiz. I lead the financial and business development aspects at Sleepiz.

I hold a master’s degree in finance and Accounting from the University of St. Gallen and have worked in Global Marketing of medical devices before founding Sleepiz.

Posted in: Thought Leaders | Medical Science News | Medical Research News | Healthcare News

Tags: Anxiety, Blood, Blood Pressure, Brain, Breathing, Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Depression, Diabetes, Diagnostic, Electromagnetic, Exercise, Eye, Fatigue, Food, Glucose, Health Care, Heart, Heart Attack, Heart Rate, Hygiene, Insomnia, Insulin, Insulin Resistance, Intensive Care, Laboratory, Machine Learning, Medical Devices, Medical School, Medicine, Mental Health, micro, Microelectronics, Movement disorders, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Neurogenesis, Nutrition, Renal Failure, Research, Respiratory, Respiratory Disease, Sleep, Sleep Apnea, Stress, Stroke, Toxins

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Written by

Emily Henderson

During her time at AZoNetwork, Emily has interviewed over 200 leading experts in all areas of science and healthcare including the World Health Organization and the United Nations. She loves being at the forefront of exciting new research and sharing science stories with thought leaders all over the world.

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