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As humans, we tend to be uniquely different from each other. Some of us like pop music while others love heavy metal and some of us live for the next football game while others spend their weekends shopping – at the end of the day we all have different hobbies and interests.

Yet there are a few things we all tend to have in common. The love of our beds - we need to sleep – indeed, most of us adore getting lots of sleep – and the other is that these days the high majority of us use some kind of app.

RestedSo, when the news hit that the millions of us that suffer from a sleep disorder could have our symptoms eradicated by a simple app, it definitely sounded too good to be true. A new bed or mattress will certainly imnprove your sleep, but what is Rested, and why has this app received an astonishing $7.4million in funding in order for the app to be released nationwide?

Rested was created by Andy Salamon, a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Salamon had grown frustrated over the years watching his father struggle with sleep apnoea – a disorder where sufferers actually stop breathing due to their airways getting blocked during their sleep. However, this disorder often gets left undiagnosed because people just presume it’s a case of snoring. In fact, Salamon’s dad’s disorder was never properly diagnosed, and therefore was never properly treated. Which is exactly why this former military man wants to help others out there, so they don’t go untreated.

Rested itself looks to determine if a person is at particular risk for any particular sleeping disorder. But the most interesting aspect of the app is that it is looking to make getting a doctor’s diagnosis so much easier by offering virtual doctor visits. This will seriously help those of us who find it difficult to find the time or even find it difficult to get an appointment with their local doctor. The app is also looking to reduce the costs a person might incur if they have a suspected sleep disorder.

To determine if you might have a sleep disorder the app will ask you to take a survey to determine if you’re at low, medium or high risk for developing a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea. These surveys include questions that will ask you about your weight/BMI, your gender and will calculate your own personal sleep score that takes into account time asleep, hours in bed and sounds during the night. It even allows users to record how they sound as you sleep – as you might not even realise that your snore or stop breathing!

Generally, for us in the UK, after your GP agrees that you may have a sleeping disorder this isn’t the end of your diagnosis. More than likely you will be referred to a specialised unit in a hospital or even a designated sleep centre. Both of which could involve extensive travel and an overnight stay in a hotel. However, with Rested, by using the paid service, you can get your own personal in-app consultation from a doctor and even have your disorder diagnosed from the comfort of your home after using a home sleep testing kit – much easier than traveling!

In America, where people have to pay for their medical treatment through insurance, sleep diagnosis can become incredibly pricey. Indeed, Salamon estimates that using a Rested doctor and service to diagnose your issue will cost approximately $1000 compared to the $6000-$7000 you’ll be charged going the traditional way. Rested users can choose to pay directly or use their insurance to pay for the service.

The app also includes sleep coaches and exercises and even has its own respiratory therapist in the app. Although the app is only available in the US states of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. – with the new funding the app is looking to become nationwide. It could well be available in the UK in just a few years and will hopefully ensure more people get their sleeping disorders diagnosed and correctly treated. The company is also considering developing their own sleep technology wearables in the future.

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