How do Smart Beds Capture Clinical Data?

Gary Garcia-Molina, PhD, explains precisely how Sleep Number smart bed technology works after conducting multiple sleep studies.

New large-scale data presented at the International Pediatric Sleep Association (IPSA) Congress 2022, detailed how the sleep patterns of children differ across various cohorts with Sleep Number's SleepIQ smart bed technology. Gary Garcia-Molina, PhD, Sleep Number Labs, explained the specific function of this cutting edge technology in an interview with HCPLive.

"There is a sensor inside the air chamber of the bed, and the sensor can capture changes in pressure," he said. "So, the air that is inside the chamber changes in pressure depending on the movements of the person that is on top of the bed."

Cardiac activity is one of the primary features the smart bed can provide information on. Movements like shifting in the bed are captured "quite prominently", though the sensors also detect the subtle cardiac activity that occurs when an individual is completely still.

"Basically, we have to apply techniques associated with signal processing to structure these tiny movement, and from there we can infer heart rate, heart rate with high temporal resolution - almost every beat can be captured by this bed," Garcia-Molina explained.

Traditional sleep studies generally use elctrodes that are attached to the individual in order to monitor sleep behavior, but the sensors are inside the smart bed which allows a natural sleep cycle.

"By using the information from respiratory activity - how many breaths per minute, and also how many beats per minute and the changes that occur throughout the night, and changes that are specific to sleep and to wakefulness, we can detect periods of sleep," he said.

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