1. What is the innovation?
Sleeptite exists in order to improve the well-being and health outcomes for older Australians – achieved through innovative sensor technology and real-time feedback on a user’s state of health and sleep. The company aims to improve the health care sector through one of a kind, innovative, non-invasive medical grade resident monitoring systems.
Sleeptite founder and CEO Cameron van den Dungen travelled the world researching what new technologies were bringing to the bedding industry. What he discovered was that new technology wasn’t being designed to have a real effect on a user’s sleep. But more than just that, what he wanted to create was technology that could truly benefit a person’s overall well-being.
Meeting the team at RMIT University, through a connection from the Australian Academy of Science was a game changer as the flexible proximity sensors they had designed, and are continuing to develop, meant Sleeptite was closer to achieving its purpose.
2. What benefits does the innovation bring?
Non-invasive, medical grade, sensors in bedding materials will feed information into a central interface alerting carers to movements or potential areas for concern so they can direct their energies to the people most in need at the right time.
Aside from medical grade monitoring, the Sleeptite program will have the ability to assist in reducing falls by alerting carers to residents at risk of falling. In the event of a resident leaving their bed, be that willingly or accidentally, it will allow faster response times.
As Sleeptite and its Program Partners are all based in Australia, one of the major benefits of the company is how the company will be bringing advanced manufacturing right here to Melbourne.
3. What commercial success and/or benefit to society has it achieved?
In July 2018 Sleeptite received a $1.7M federal government grant through the CRC-P program to advance the process of idea to commercialisation.
The company is still in the lab testing, but aims to have the first phase of the program in field trials by early 2019.
4. What lessons learnt can you share?
However cliché it sounds – we never had a doubt in our minds that Sleeptite would not happen. We were determined to make it work, with or without the CRC-P grant.
Sleeptite applied for the same grant in 2017 but was not deemed successful. However, as a company, we listened to the advice given from mentors in business and industry, brought on board a team of people around us who were able to tell the story and advance the company in a way we previously had not been able to.
Our best advice is therefore to create a product you believe in and just find a way to make it work – either through grants or private investors. Positive thoughts and determination can make anything happen!
5. How many new jobs has this innovation created?
Currently, Sleeptite has three permanent employees. Our Research Program Partner, RMIT University has a team of three researchers working on the project, which will expand to include up to three to four students in the upcoming months. The advanced manufacturing arm of Sleeptite, Sleepeezee, also has three employees working on the project.