Working on the snoring problem, one innovation at a time

Innovation Factory’s Alaa Chalabi talks using wearables to detect sleep disorders and snoring habits at WISH in Doha, Qatar last week.
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Innovation Factory’s Alaa Chalabi

Snorers—every household has one, joked Innovation Factory cofounder Alaa Chalabi. This noisy problem inspired the Innovation Factory’s newest product Snorelife, a smart algorithm that can detect and analyze sleeping sounds, which was displayed at the the Young Innovators Showcase at the World Innovation Summit for Health in Doha, Qatar last week.

“Snoring is a problem that happens in every house. I’m married and it’s happening and before I got married my father was snoring,” Chalabi said during a sit down with Women in Healthcare IT in Qatar last week. “It’s always happening for a reason.”

Snorelife was developed to help users get to the bottom of that reason. It is made up of multiple parts. The user wears an adhesive device with multiple sensors to bed. This sensor then connects via bluetooth to the smartphone application. The sensors are able to listen and analyze the snoring sounds.

“It knows which type of snoring it [is]. It detects something dangerous called sleep apnea. That is when your breathing stops when you are sleeping,” Chalabi said. “It happens a lot and usually people don’t know it. You just wake up tired. So this detects sleep apnea and what type of sleep apnea it is. It measures the oxygen in the blood because if you are not breathing the oxygen in the blood would be less.”

On a practical note the technology was also designed to help the user figure out exactly why they are snoring—for example some people only snore when they are lying on their backs. The platform collects data reports and can then send them along to the sleep clinic. Chalabi said this is an alternative to making people go to a sleep clinic—which can often be an uncomfortable and time consuming experience.

Snorelife is just the latest tool out of the Innovation Factory, a company co founded by Chalabi and her husband that is based in Birmingham, UK. The company specializes in sound technologies and has worked on wearables that act as smoke and fire alarms for people who are deaf or hearing impaired.  

Chalabi said there needs to be a push for more women in technology and in some cases it can eSolven be an upper hand.

“We are two CEOs and one of us is a woman—this didn’t prevent us from achieving anything. I think that women are more capable of multi tasking so we can do more than one thing,” Chalabi said. “I think that there needs to be a [push] for women in technology and making the world a better place.”

Editor's note: This story is part of our coverage of World Innovation Summit for Health. WISH invited MobiHealthNews to the event and paid for travel and accomodations. As always, MobiHealthNews maintains its editorial independence and made no promises to WISH, including about the content or quantity of coverage.

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