Smartphone App May Help Monitor Sleep Disorders

Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology and Florida State University have teamed up to create a smartphone app that can track breathing patterns as someone sleeps. If successful, this app could be used to monitor sleeping disorders while a person is at home, providing helpful data without the need for a formal sleep study.

The app works through a microphone on a set of earbuds. The microphone picks up a person’s breathing patterns and records them on the app. Even if the earbuds are on a table next to the bed, the microphone can still pick up enough information to diagnose sleeping disorders. Researchers found the results were within half-a-breath of the data recorded by chest-worn respiration monitors.

Yingying Chen, an associate professor at SIT, said that the app could help diagnose conditions like sleep apnea, which is normally discovered in a hospital setting with sensors attached to a person’s body. Chen said it can be difficult for doctors to catch irregular breathing patterns in this setting, and a simple smartphone app could give them a better picture of a person’s normal sleeping habits.

The researchers tested the app for six months, and it may be made available this year.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.