The Japanese company is developing a sensor tool that uses radio waves to track an individual’s vital signs as they sleep, and connects with smart devices and video game devices through cloud technology to analyze a user’s health information, Polygon reports. The product is non-wearable and non-contact, and operates on its own without much setup. Nintendo will partner with U.S.-based medical device manufacturer ResMed to distribute its sleep-monitor product, and expects to launch the device sometime in 2016, according to the Polygon story.
Meanwhile, devicemakers are eyeing a $3.5 billion sleep disorder market as potential source of growth. Medtronic spinoff Inspire Medical Systems is developing the first and only implantable neurostimulation device to treat sleep apnea, providing an alternative to traditional continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. In May 2014, the Minneapolis-based company raked in $40 million in a Series E round to launch its Inspire implant in the U.S.
Inspire Medical Systems is not alone in its quest to create next-generation sleep devices. Israel’s Itamar Medical recently celebrated positive third quarter results buoyed by new sales deals for its home sleep monitoring system. The company’s WatchPAT and EndoPAT diagnostic devices use a fingertip sensor to track the health of nerves and blood vessels, providing a noninvasive “window” to the cardiovascular system and autonomic nervous system. Itamar in the first half of 2014 brought in $16.3 million from Israeli investors for its sleep-monitoring products, and inked deals with big names like Medtronic, a Japanese unit of Philips, and Nihon Kohden, one of Japan’s largest medical device manufacturers.
REFERENCE: Fierce Medical Devices; 30 OCT 2014; Emily Wasserman