By Vik Panda, managing director North America, Dreem.
Rumors had it that Apple wanted to help you track your sleep. Industry watchers said it’s in part about playing catchup with Fitbit and others. Although, Apple has never worried about being second or third, just whether they can be the best.
But when Apple’s big announcement came earlier this month, there was no mention of a sleep tracker.
There is indeed a pressing need for sleep health, but could Apple really have met that need with another tracker? They’ve already acquired Beddit, which is a sensor that fits under your sheet, and Tueo Health, which monitors respiration in sleeping children.
Where would Apple go with a brain wave tracker, or EEG? What about high quality digital coaching? What about data that can propel science? Can they bring an integrated solution forward?
Sleep disorders are a trillion-dollar healthcare problem encompassing a third of the world’s population. In fact, 80 percent of poor sleep is undiagnosed and is untreated. This is in part because diagnosis is perceived as too expensive by individuals – wrongly when you consider the consequence of not getting help – and there aren’t enough trained experts moving through the medical education system to deliver adapted treatments.
A trillion dollars is a big number, but it’s not a real number if no one tangibly feels it, or understands the pain from poor health they feel is because they are not getting the kind of sleep they need or enough of it.
Drug advertisements will focus on the impact that bad health has on spending time with family, but let’s face it, our jobs and our ability to make a living is where health problems can plunge us into panic. Employers also feel the impact of sleep health, and they’re realizing just how important it is.
Sleeping on the job
Before joining a media interview recently, I met Bella Hughes of Shaka Tea in the green room. Bella shared that the trend for companies interested in her caffeine-free tea say their teams are dropping the stereotype of a stimulant-driven workplace. Even in Silicon Valley and its legendary all-nighter coding marathons and pantries stocked with “energy” boosters, the reality is sinking in that focus and results are driven by healthy sleep and conquering sleep disorders.