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Apple enters sleep tracker market with Beddit purchase

May 13, 2017
  • Apple has bought sleep tracking startup Beddit for an undisclosed sum, MobiHealthNews reports.
  • The move comes just one month after sleep scientist Roy J.E.M. Raymann, who was hired by Apple in 2014, left the Silicon Valley tech giant.
  • Finland-based Beddit’s sleep tracking device detects heartbeats and breathing rhythms and conveys the information via Bluetooth to a companion app. The technology is iPhone-compatible, and the newest model, Beddit 3 Sleep Tracker, is available in Apple stores.

Apple is not new to sleep tracking. It’s HealthKit app monitors sleep cycles along with nutrition, fitness and weight. However, sleep tracking has been noticeably absent from Apple Watch, which usually needs nightly recharging, since it was launched in 2014.

With Beddit, Apple will be competing with companies like Fitbit, which offers deep sleep tracking via its new Sleep Stages technology. Available this spring, the app monitors changes in heart rate to estimate the time people spend in light, deep and REM sleep.

IBM and the American Sleep Apnea Association also have an app, SleepHealth, that is being used in a patient-driven study to look at connections between sleep habits and health outcomes. There’s an Apple connection: The app is designed or iPhones and Apple Watch, and the study uses Apple ResearchKit’s framework to enable participants to perform tasks and submit surveys from SleepHealth.

This is Apple’s second known digital health acquisition. Last summer, the company bought health data startup Gliimpse. CEO Tim Cook has indicated that Apple is interested in pursuing business opportunities in nonregulated side of healthcare.

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