SLEEPFIT founder, Melissa Webster tells us about why she founded and developed her revolutionary new app. Here, she writes for Women Love Tech.
I slept like a baby for the first 30 odd years of my life, my head would hit the pillow and I would be out like a light for eight solid hours. Then I met my first husband, who was a chronic insomniac and had been for most of his life, we had our daughter who also didn’t sleep until we got help through Tresillian when she was aged three. When she started sleeping, I felt like I got my life back, and from there, I came up with the concept for SLEEPFIT.
Sleep is often overlooked as a basic need that is necessary to good health and it’s set to become even more disrupted.
Our changing work patterns, the pressure to be ‘on’ 24/7 and our increasing dependency on our phones is having a major impact on our sleep.
According to Deloitte Access Economics, 39.8% of Australian adults experience some form of inadequate sleep. When sleep is restricted or interrupted, the health impacts that develop can be very serious – heart disease, diabetes, obesity, stroke, depression, anxiety, decreased life span, cancer and Alzheimer’s are all currently linked to insufficient sleep.
Add this to the workforce and performance can be seriously impacted by sleep problems. According to Deloitte Access Economics, insufficient sleep costs employers in Australia around $17.9 billion.
Similarly, a study by Harvard Medical School found that sleep disorders trump back and neck problems, depression and fatigue as causes of absenteeism and presenteeism. With this in mind, we’ve worked extensively with employers, insurance companies and health and wellbeing providers to improve sleep outcomes of Australians.
At SleepFit, we are on a mission to fuse technology and medical expertise to transform staff performance, and in the process helping to claw back 25 million hours of sleep for Australians.
The tool is a digital diagnostic alarm and sleep log platform that supports people who struggle with sleeping issues caused by poor sleeping habits, shift work, insomnia or sleep apnoea.
It works by linking real-time biometric, environmental data, and self-reported data captured manually or linked to the user’s Fitbit to provide the user with guidance, letting them know when they may be at high risk of sleep deprivation and where the areas of improvement are.
The user is then served up with tailored information and treatment programs to reset their habits, online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program for insomniacs, convenient overnight screening and GP appointment and specialist referrals.
Recently, we’ve received recognition from HCF, Australia’s leading not-for-profit health fund, on the value of helping Australians manage their sleep and were selected to participate in the HCF Catalyst program as a health tech scale-up. The 12-week intensive program, led by entrepreneurs, has been critical in helping us to develop our business and scale it to reach larger audiences by giving us access to mentorship, funding, industry relationship-building, and strategic guidance. Currently, HCF is conducting a trial of the SleepFit tool with HCF employees.
About HCF Catalyst
Australia’s largest corporate-led health tech accelerator to help entrepreneurs turn their health tech ideas into high impact businesses, changing the provision of health services now and in the future. The accelerator is a structured, 12-week program designed to build compelling business models and secure the traction, viability and investment needed for each business to succeed. It includes hands-on resources such as mentorship, funding, industry relationship-building, and strategic guidance.