More funding for Sheffield 'sleep-tech' firm battling to beat insomnia

A Sheffield ‘sleep-tech’ company developing a device to combat insomnia has raised a total of £2m after landing another grant.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 1:32 pm
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 2:22 pm

SleepCogni has received £180,000 to help doctors diagnose and treat sleep disorders remotely due to the pandemic.

The SleepCogni is a stand and hoop which produce sounds and lights designed to send people to sleep, while sensors, including a wearable device, and artificial intelligence optimise ‘biofeedback algorithms’.

A spokesman said: “The pandemic has led to rapid adoption of virtual care and remote monitoring, helping patients and physicians stay connected.

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The SleepCogni comes with an app and a wearable.

“In addition, Covid-19 has, for several reasons, pushed and in some cases, forced consumers to manage their own health and wellbeing online.”

The latest grant was the third from Innovate UK, part of the government.

In total the firm has raised £850,000 in grant funding, with investors taking the total to £2m.

Chief executive Richard Mills invented the SleepCogni after suffering insomnia for 10 years. He says one in three people struggle with sleep but drugs can have side effects and don’t tackle the underlying problem.

From left: Dr Maan van de Werken, Richard di Benedetto and Richard Mills.

Now the firm will collaborate with DareData Engineering and Amazon’s AWS Activate program to deliver cloud-based data collection, processing, analysis and visualisation.

Mr Mills said: "We selected DareData as data partner because of their capability and experience in understanding physiological data. Their expertise will support the build of a robust, scalable and secure data infrastructure platform.”

Sam Hopkins, co-founder and senior data engineer and scientist at DareData Engineering, said: “These technologies will provide us with everything that is required to safely encrypt, store, anonymise, and analyse the plethora of sensor data that is required to make a real difference in a person's life.”

In December, SleepCogni and Sheffield Hallam University announced plans to sign up 80 insomniacs for a trial ahead of commercialisation.

The company is led by chairman and investor Richard di Benedetto, president of Aetna International, one of the world’s largest health insurance companies and one of the first to incentivise policyholders to sleep better.

It is hoped he will help parent company Braintrain2020 crack the US and insurance markets.

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