The SleepScore Max is an attractive sleep improvement system that’s a good combination of hardware and mobile app, but what you’re really paying for is the data and analytics that back up device.
Last month, SleepScore Labs launched the SleepScore Max, which reads and detects movements in your upper body while you sleep. It uses ultra-lower power radio waves to measure your breathing and movements during the night. An algorithm then analyzes sleep and provides you with a daily SleepScore between 0 and 100.
The product, created by SleepScore Labs, is built on the technology from ResMed, a large company that specializes in CPAP equipment and respiratory and sleep apnea conditions. SleepScore Labs is a joint venture between Resmed, Pegasys Capital and Dr. Mehmet Oz, also known as Dr. Oz.
It doesn’t take much to figure out the playbook of SleepScore Labs, which launched at CES 2017. ResMed provides the data and analytical backbone, Dr. Oz brings marketing and a big audience and Pegasys has capital.
Another core theme here is that the SleepScore Max represents another wave in the consumerization of health care and the data that goes with it. Wearables and smartwatches go a long way toward providing data on the quantified self and I already track steps, heart rate, diet and various activities. Sleep, however, seemed like an area where the ante could be upped and where additional data would be useful. Remember that the hardware–sensor, wearable, smartwatch etc.–isn’t just an entry point and the value will be in the data. That reality is why I’m far from writing Fitbit’s obituary.
In the near future, you’ll regularly bring years of your own health data and insights to your physician from your wearables and other Internet of things devices. SleepScore Labs is already ahead of this trend with an app that can create a sleep report for your doctor covering things such as sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency.
I’ve been testing SleepScore Max, which runs $149.99, for a week. The promise of SleepScore Max is that it can gather data, benchmark you against millions of nights of sleep and then provide insights to improve your rest. SleepScore Labs said it takes about 30 days of continually use to start delivering specific and personalized recommendations. The SleepScore Max data and tracking is augmented by short personal questionnaires about your health, routines, diet and other moving parts that affect your sleep.
The SleepScore Max is running on an Apple iOS app, but an Android version launches on Monday when the device ships. I had been pondering a sleep test after noting how various wearable devices have highlighted how deep sleep is usually around 2 hours. The problem with a sleep test is that it’s a little hard to believe that being sensored to the hilt in a hospital or sleep center is going to really provide great data.
Enter the SleepScore Max experiment. On the surface, SleepScore Max looks like YAD (yet another device) to me. Sure, the device is attractive, but I’m already gadgeted out. Yes, the fact SleepScore Max didn’t need another wearable or a bed strip was a positive, but what piqued my interest was the following data:
- Via ResMed, SleepScore Labs has 4 million nights of sleep data.
- 4.8 billion sleep quality metrics.
- Expertise Polysomnography (PSG) and Actigraphy, the two clinically accepted standards of measuring sleep.
- An algorithm backed by 2.7 million nights of sleep and research from sleep experts, behavioral psychologists and data scientists.
- The ability to add personalized data from you.
- The potential to augment the data it is already using.
- And the backing of ResMed, which can augment the data used by SleepScore Labs.
On ResMed’s most recent quarter, the company said it processes more than 200,000 diagnostic tests in the cloud, monitors more than 4 million patients at home via connective care and has more than 45 million patient accounts through its Brightree platform.
ResMed’s growth plan revolves around using big data analytics to improve care, cut down on hospital visits and treat global conditions such as sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Resmed and SleepScore Labs are looking to capitalize on the hospital to home care movement, which will be driven by analytics, data and the Internet of things. In the end, data will separate winners from losers and the more information collected by SleepScore Labs the more insightful it will become.
Now we all know that data will win the game across all industries–including healthcare–but the device still has to work. On that front, the SleepScore Max fares well. Some key points on the device:
- The device fits right in on an end table in your room. It’s not intrusive.
- Pairing the device to your phone wasn’t difficult, but on the first night the Bluetooth dropped in the middle of the night. As a result, I’ve charged the phone closer to the SleepScore Max, but that required me to alter my behavior since I don’t put the smartphone in my bedroom.
- The questionnaires to start the monitoring were relatively quick, but requires you to give a little to gain more valuable insights later.
- SleepScore Labs’ mobile app is clean, well thought out and provides a series of views to measure out your sleep. The addition of REM sleep to the metrics was handy.
- Insights to date are a bit generic, but that is to be expected since SleepScore Labs only has a few days to work with so far. The real gauge will be after 30 days when the algorithm has more data to use.
- Hopefully, SleepScore Labs develops an ecosystem so its data can be connected and shared more broadly (for me that’s MyFitnessPal and Garmin Connect). The SleepScore iOS app does share permissions with Apple Health and Healthkit. I haven’t tried the Android app yet.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to do a deep dive on your sleep metrics, the SleepScore Max for $149.99 offers a good data value.