- Prototype developed
- Chancellor's Innovation Fund Winner
A novel flexible sleep monitoring system using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS).
An estimated 50-70 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorder. These people are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity as well as reduced quality of life and productivity. The global market for sleep aids is expected to reach $76 billion by 2019.
Sleep quality is currently estimated using mobile apps or wearable devices such as the FitBit One or Jawbone Up, which use an accelerometer to determine sleep and awake cycles. More in-depth sleep studies must be performed to actually record and analyze the blood oxygenation levels of a sleeping individual. These sleep studies are conducted in labs where patients are monitored overnight while wearing bulky wired sensors often connected to a skull cap. These caps are known to cause discomfort inpatients, which can cause erroneous results during the sleep studies. These systems are extremely expensive since they require professional help to set up and use.
Fortunately, researchers at NC State have developed Sleepi-Band, a novel wearable sleep monitoring device that helps users more effectively measure sleep quality to address their sleep disorders. Sleepi-Band is a compact device containing embedded wireless sensors that utilize functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS). This sensor system consists of a light source, photo detectors, polymer electrodes, and thermistors that can be worn as a waist band, head band, or even an adhesive bandage. The device measures several vital signs such as heart rate and respiration rate, which are used to identify and sort sleep stages.
Monitoring sleep in this manner could lead to revolutionary new therapies for sleep disorders or perhaps even ways of overcoming jetlag. The information gathered by Sleepi-Band is much more accurate than the data gathered by mobile apps or devices worn on a person’s wrist. Sleepi-Band has undergone clinical testing at the Duke Sleep Disorders Laboratory.
Convenience: wireless wearable technology can be worn as a wristband, headband or even an adhesive bandage
Insight: measures several vital signs such as heart rate and respiration rate to identify and sort sleep stages
Better data: the information gathered is more accurate than the data gathered by mobile apps and other devices currently on the market
An international PCT patent application has been filed and may be available upon request.
About the Inventor
Dr. Alper Bozkurt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Principal Investigator of iBionics lab at North Carolina State University. His research interests include development of microscale sensors, actuators and methodologies for biological systems.