Wearable sleep tracking has been an alluring target for tech giants for nearly a decade. But this year, Amazon and Google have poured money into another kind of technology: passive sleep monitors that keep tabs on rest from the bedside.
Last month, Amazon received federal clearance to use radar for sleep monitoring, following on the heels of rival Google, which in March debuted sleep sensing in the latest iteration of its Nest device. The companies’ renewed interest in sleep tracking — and corresponding investment in less invasive forms of tracking — suggests a widening strategy aimed at making the devices more clinically and practically useful.
So far, no single tech giant has emerged as a leader in the sector, but analysts say the market is ripe for the taking. Clinicians, too, are growing more and more accustomed to considering the sleep figures from their patients’ gadgets. “I think what’s changing is our willingness as clinicians to look at this data,” said Seema Khosla, medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep. “I think there’s been a bit of a mindset shift.”
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