Quality sleep is vital for overall health. During sleep, the body repairs tissues, consolidate memories, and regulate hormones. Adequate sleep supports immune function, mental well-being, and cardiovascular health. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to various health issues, including an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and impaired cognitive function.

That’s precisely why Ruah Lab (official site), a Korean startup, is on a mission to promote healthy sleep worldwide, and it does that by tackling efficient sleep testing, which is the fundamental building block to improving sleep quality.

The company does that with a combination of sensing and AI analysis. The sensing is done with the help of a small wearable mask that can accurately measure the user’s breathing from which sleep quality data can be derived.

The sensor is called WeRAS (Wearable Respiration Analysis System), and it can be used for sleep tracking and other applications that are based on breathing measurement (“respiratory signals”). There’s also a heat sensor in the system.

WeRAS is more complex than its minimalist exterior design might suggest. Inside, you’ll find an extremely sensitive airflow sensing system and a movement sensor, as motion is also a pertinent data point for sleep analysis.

I have seen sleep analysis systems before, and they were huge, so you have to wonder how they impede the very thing they are supposed to analyze. Clinic-grade systems can’t even be used at home; again, sleeping in a clinic is not conducive to the best sleeping experience either.

On the contrary, WeRAS is small and can be utilized with a simple mobile phone app. People can sleep in their own beds, and the data is saved to the cloud for later analysis. The device has an 8-10 hrs battery life and charges via a USB-C port.

Ruah Lab’s application can gather data and show insights, but if a condition is detected, users should talk to their doctors about that data and let that person recommend remediation strategies, which could involve diet changes, workouts, etc.

The business model consists of selling the devices to hospitals and clinics first, as medical professionals can help improve the product during the initial phase. Prototypes are being tested right now in Korea.

In theory, this solution might enable clinics to perform a sleep test for ~$300, which is about 10X less than legacy systems, according to Ruah Lab

There are more opportunities to improve this solid foundation. The startup is already considering adding more sensors (blood oxygen, sound) and possibly new usage models where breathing is important, such as Yoga or Meditation.

This solution can kickstart discovering and figuring out why people don’t sleep well and setting them on a path of better sleep and overall health.

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