SomnoRing appears usable and acceptable for assessing sleep health in diverse populations

In a recent study published in JMIR formation research, Results from a 7-day experiment with a racially, ethnically and socio-economically diverse group of sleep disorder patients show that SomnoRing is useful for tracking sleep and that other wearables Perceived to be more comfortable compared to sleep devices.1 These findings suggest that wearables like SomnoRing have the potential to improve sleep health in marginalized patient populations.

All 21 participants with sleep disorders (English-speaking, n = 12; Spanish-speaking, n = 10) owned a smartphone, and nearly all (90.5%, n = 19) were comfortable using their phone. Few felt comfortable using it and already owned a wearable device ( 28.6%, n = 6). Of the total number of participants, 15 (68%) wore the Somno ring continuously for 7 days during the study period and reported that they felt comfortable.

“This study highlights the importance of conducting usability and acceptability studies with patients from marginalized communities before adapting wearable devices and apps, rather than as an afterthought.” said co-author Dr. Courtney Lyles, associate professor of general internal medicine at UCSF. Doctors at Zuckerberg’s San Francisco General Hospital said in a statement:1 This study investigated the ease of use and acceptance of wearable sleep monitoring and its accompanying mobile app among racially, ethnically, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse participants in a safety net clinic. .

The study, led by Larissa Parnell, MPH, Galileo’s senior operations manager of professional services design and commercialization, was conducted in California from February 2021 to December 2021 in a multidisciplinary group that treated publicly insured patients in California. English- and Spanish-speaking patients were recruited from clinics. This study excluded patients with suspected primary insomnia or other sleep disorders, but an initial evaluation for obstructive sleep apnea was performed. After testing the SomnoRing device during the study period, participants completed a 1-hour semi-structured web-based qualitative questionnaire to assess their perceptions of the device, including motivations and barriers to use, and general information about digital health tools. asked to share their experiences. interview.

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Four themes emerged from the collected interviews. Notably, SomnoRing was easy to use compared to other wearable devices and traditional home sleep testing alternatives, such as the standard polysomnogram technique used in sleep studies. His second theme observed was the patient’s situation and environment, including the influence of family and colleagues, housing situation, access to insurance, and the cost of the device, which influences overall acceptance of the device. Third, the clinical champion theme motivated its use to support effective onboarding, data interpretation, and ongoing technical support. A final theme was that participants wanted more support and information to effectively interpret their sleep data summarized in an app on their device.

Limitations of this study include several gaps in data collection and participants’ lack of clear understanding of the role of the SomnoRing app in the study. Because the study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sleep clinic adapted its practices and carefully screened patients by excluding infected patients from the analysis. The SomnoRing app was not ready to be incorporated into the study and was therefore not highlighted as part of the research design. Nevertheless, patients used the app both at the beginning and end of the monitoring period and were interested in the app’s data and metrics, which influenced their overall experience and feedback.

Overall, participants also identified several external barriers regarding perceived usefulness of technology, including housing circumstances, insurance coverage, and clinical support. It was noted that technology acceptance models can provide a useful framework for assessing how these technologies are accepted among target groups, such as safety net populations. In the future, the researchers hope to improve the usability and use of these devices, particularly in real-world clinical settings, in order to better inform people about how to integrate these technologies into sleep interventions and care practices. He stressed the need for further research into the situation.2

1. New research suggests sleep wearables show potential to improve sleep health in marginalized populations. news release. JMIR Publications. Published June 6, 2023. Accessed September 7, 2023. marginalized people/
2. Purnell L, Sierra M, Lisker S, et al. Acceptance and ease of use of wearable devices for sleep health among English- and Spanish-speaking patients in a safety net clinic: A qualitative analysis. JMIR form resolution. 2023;7:e43067. Published June 5, 2023. doi:10.2196/43067

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