Artificial Intelligence: A New AI Sleep App Could Help Us Junk Sleeping Pills

Sleepio, the app, is a digital therapeutic for insomnia. Users could sleep better, slash healthcare costs, and reduce drug dependency.

Sleepio, a digital app, uses an AI algorithm to provide users with customized cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Cognitive interventions aim to improve the way a person thinks about sleep and the behavioural interventions aim to promote a healthy sleep routine. The app costs £45 (excluding VAT) and can work through wearable devices like the Apple watch. (Sky News)

According to Sleepio, research over 35 years has proved that sleep can be improved through changes in lifestyle, cognitive thought techniques, and proper scheduling.

In the world’s first placebo-controlled trial for a digital therapeutic, Sleepio was shown to be significantly more effective than the placebo. After six weeks, 76% of Sleepio patients achieved clinical improvement in insomnia.

“In about 20 minutes per week, individuals can quiet their racing minds, reshape behaviors, and get better sleep,” says Sleepio. It also claims the app cut health care costs by $1,677 per employee.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) said the app could help save the NHS a lot of money – after a year of use patients needed fewer GP appointments and sleeping pills. It also helped reduce the risk of dependency (habit-forming) on the use of sleep inducing medicines such as zolpidem and zopiclone. In the estimate of Nice, over 800,000 people could benefit through the use of Sleepio.

“This is a good example of where a digital health technology can help the NHS,” said Jeanette Kusel, acting director for MedTech and digital at Nice.

Related Story: AI Is “Extraordinarily Precise” At Diagnosing Sleep Disorders

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