Verily, ResMed to apply big data to tracking undiagnosed sleep apnea in new joint venture

Verily is launching a new venture to apply big data analytics to sleep apnea treatments, and is enlisting the help of device manufacturer ResMed to help study the health and financial impacts of respiratory-related sleep disorders going undiagnosed and untreated.

The two companies plan to develop connected software to assist healthcare providers in identifying and managing patients. ResMed estimates that sleep apnea affects 54 million Americans, with about 80% undiagnosed, possibly contributing to heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and other conditions.

“The vast majority of people with sleep apnea don’t realize they have it, and therefore don’t seek accessible, effective treatment to mitigate its effects and long-term health risks,” ResMed Chief Medical Officer Carlos Nunez said in a statement.

The joint venture, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, will operate as a separate entity from ResMed and Verily.

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“Approaching a widespread health problem like sleep apnea through collecting, organizing and activating health data is central to Verily’s mission,” said Jessica Mega, chief medical and scientific officer at Verily, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company.

“By better identifying at-risk individuals as well as generating real-world evidence regarding the value and effectiveness of treatment, this collaboration has the potential to improve outcomes for millions of people living with sleep apnea, and potentially other related conditions,” Mega added.

ResMed already offers the myAir app, a program for CPAP users that tracks apnea treatment, used with the company’s AirSense and AirCurve machines. The app provides a daily sleep quality score with data on how long a person slept on CPAP, how many apneas they had, how well their mask fit and overall CPAP compliance.