Innovative treatment for sleep apnoea

A compact and ergonomic sensor that alters sleeping habits.

Gate 2IP-bericht -juli -Night BalanceNightBalance is a start-up enterprise founded by Eline Vrijland after completing her final-year research project at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). Her objective was to find a method of influencing people's sleeping habits. The result was the Sleep Position Trainer (SPT). This is a comfortable, portable sensor for people who suffer from positional sleep apnoea. It works by measuring a patient's behaviour whilst they are asleep, and by vibrating if they roll onto their backs. This slight vibration does not wake the patient, but does trigger them to change position.

For fifty percent of the approximately 500,000 people in the Netherlands who are affected by sleep apnoea, their sleep apnoea is directly linked to sleeping on their backs. The innovative SPT has proven so effective, that Dutch health insurance company Achmea is willing to reimburse the treatment as part of its health insurance policies. NightBalance plans on introducing this product throughout Europe and then on a global scale.

SPT proves patentable after all

After having been told that they would not be able to patent their Sleep Position Trainer, NightBalance consulted with EP&C's Christiaan Houben. Together, they found multiple aspects which could be patented after all. This put NightBalance in a positive position for attracting new business partners and launching SPT on the international market.