Ever wonder how and why Sleepiz started? How the team came together? Or why we are called “Sleepiz” and why we decided to develop a medical product?
One fine Thursday afternoon, Soumya was on his way to his lab at ETH Zurich when he had an epiphany: his PhD project had a hidden potential. Back then, he was working on wireless communication technologies. Although, mostly used to send and receive information, Soumya’s expert understanding allowed him to see that his algorithms for improved information transmission could be used for higher purposes than increasing streaming speed of your favourite Netflix show; they could enable tracking, measuring, and diagnosis of sleep disorders. Even though at the time he was not yet familiar with sleep apnea, his curiosity to understand sleep drove him to dive deep into the topic. A shocking first encounter with the state of the art sleep disorder diagnosis methods solidified his conviction that sleep monitoring required rethinking. The day Soumya had first visited a sleep lab is still clearly instilled into his memory. The abundance of cables and sensors hooked up to the patients was painful to see, especially for a wireless engineer. Why should we accept the use of ancient tech in the 21st century?
Being driven to improve people’s lives, he felt empowered to make a positive impact after identifying this gap in sleep medicine. Thus, began the remarkable next steps, because from his educational perspective, Soumya knew – if you really want to make an impact, you have to do it yourself.
As a researcher, Soumya had seen many great technologies that never saw the light of the day – and was adamant not to see that happen to his passion. Therefore, he shared his idea with Sunil, his colleague and friend from ETH. Sunil’s extensive experience in biostatistics facilitated him to see the challenges and promises of the path ahead. His excitement and optimism meant the wait was over, the duo set forth with the dream and got down to work.
The initial feasibility studies yielded promising results but also exposed the need for additional expertise: the pair realised that if they were to get anywhere, they would need help on the business side. Soumya started attending different events and utilised the strong collaboration between ETH Zurich and the University of St. Gallen. It was at one of these events that Soumya’s engaging enthusiasm caught the attention of Max. Max’s like-mindedness and entrepreneurial personality meshed perfectly with Soumya’s vision. Suddenly, the duo turned into a trio, where Max led the charge in business development and financial planning.
This trio knew that a piece of the puzzle was still missing; the hardware expertise. They scoured programs at ETH until they found Marc, another PhD student, whose skillset and mindset complimented the trio’s. On a cold, crisp day in January 2017, the trio became a quad and thus began the journey of Sleepiz. The start of something greater than a mere idea.
The project, now company, came to be “Sleepiz” for a good reason. A question lingered within the minds of the quad and is now what Sleepiz helps to answer: “What is sleep?” – The straight forward answer is: Sleep is a state of our mind and body… but wait a second… the name already presents itself in the first two words! So, with a little bit of twisting “Sleep is” and a little bit of next generation tuning, “Sleepiz” emerged. This represents the company’s mission: to empower people to answer questions about their sleep. Sleep is something very personal and unique to each individual. With the help of Sleepiz, everyone can find new insights about what happens in-between going to bed and waking up the next morning.
Our motto, “Touching lives without touching” is quite self-explanatory. Impacting people’s lives through contactless technologies. The tagline does not only explain the company’s purpose but it also answers the question of why Sleepiz develops medical products. To meaningfully touch lives and make an impact, we believe tracking sleep with medical precision is a must.
Sleepiz AG (Ltd.) is a Zürich based startup with a mission to provide patient-centric disease management through seamless integration of contactless monitoring into people’s homes. Sleepiz leverages the power of sleep insights with a device that is simply placed on the bedside table. The device operates in a non-contact fashion and measures movements originating from heart contractions and breathing patterns, as well as body motions with medical grade accuracy.
While currently focusing on respiratory illnesses, Sleepiz aims to improve people’s lives by creating the future of healthcare. By making use of wireless millimeter wave technology, sensor fusion and artificial intelligence, in the future Sleepiz will not only be able to diagnose sleep disorders but also perform long-term monitoring. Thereby, the progression of chronic diseases will be monitored to allow faster intervention and better treatment.