A Wired news report examines the new clinical consumer wearables designed to monitor sleep.
Enter wearables, specifically the “pro-sumer” variety with FDA clearance and clinical backing. Unlike first-generation activity trackers that measure movement and sometimes heartbeat, clinical consumer wearables like the recently released SleepImage can measure heart rhythm (ECG), breathing volume, and snoring (through tissue vibration). They can also keep tabs on body movement as well as position—whether a person is sleeping on their back, side, or belly. Algorithms calculate the second-to-second relationship between heart rate variability and breathing variability. This relationship between heart and breathing rhythms, known as cardio-pulmonary coupling, maps to the sleep stages and breathing disruptions that previously only a polysomnogram could measure.