[World Sleep Day] The Future of Sleep Health: Experts Explore How AI and Wearable Technology Are Revolutionizing Sleep at SXSW

on March 12, 2024
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According to recent studies, interest in personal sleep health has been skyrocketing; however, the quality of sleep people get each night is declining. While individuals seemingly understand the importance of sleep, action isn’t taken until factors like jetlag or environmental factors disrupt their sleep-wake rhythm and give them a serious wake-up call.


To explore the profound impact of sleep, Samsung hosted a panel discussion on March 10 titled, “How Technology Can Revolutionize the Age-Old Sleep Dilemma” during the 2024 South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, Texas, USA. Experts uncovered how AI and technology have the potential to immensely improve sleep quality.


▲ (From left) Creative Strategies’ Carolina Milanesi, Samsung’s Dr. Hon Pak, sleep scientist Vanessa Hill and the National Sleep Foundation’s John Lopos discuss the importance of sleep.


Panelists included Dr. Hon Pak, SVP and Head of Digital Health Team, MX Business at Samsung Electronics, sleep scientist Vanessa Hill, and John Lopos, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Moderated by Carolina Milanesi, President and Principal Analyst at Creative Strategies, the event took place just hours after Americans1 set their clocks forward one hour for daylight saving time, underscoring the relevance of the conversation to panelists and audience members alike.



Decoding Sleep for Richer Insights

Milanesi kicked off the panel discussion by highlighting that “sleep is one of the most crucial factors that can lead to overall well-being.” She also emphasized the importance of understanding what kind of impact sleep has on our everyday lives — this served as the crux of the conversation that would follow.


The panelists unanimously agreed on the importance of sleep, and while it’s the foundation of health that directly impacts everyday activities, dietary choices, and mental well-being, it often isn’t prioritized, with sleep quality worsening worldwide. However, experts are hopeful that AI-led technology and wearables — including smart rings and smart watches with advanced sensors — can help individuals build better sleep habits and create optimal sleep environments.



The panelists emphasized that when people are informed about their sleep, they are more empowered to make decisions that help achieve better sleep. Pak stressed how essential wearables like the Galaxy Watch6 and the recently unveiled Galaxy Ring are to Samsung’s vision for enhanced sleep health, as they can track sleep metrics and provide meaningful insights that encourage users to develop better habits and make positive changes.


Hill emphasized the importance of making sleep a priority in the same way people carve time out for workouts, nutritious meals, and annual checkups. She added that individuals are empowered to achieve their best sleep with technology like wearables and gave a firsthand account of her own experience with sleep coaching2 on the Galaxy Watch6 that did exactly that.


During the discussion, Pak also touched upon Samsung’s connected health ecosystem, mentioning its collaborations with medical institutes and its roster of health-focused companies helping expand the ecosystem and the Software Development Kit (SDK). This allows partners to develop solutions leveraging Samsung’s insights and technologies.



Better Sleep With AI and Wearable Technology

With interest in AI sweeping the globe and influencing every area of technology, the panelists spent time unpacking just how these new intelligent capabilities and insights can be available to more people so they can achieve sound sleep.



Pak stressed how mobile devices will become the primary access point for AI and how Samsung is striving to deliver personalized and actionable insights by incorporating and analyzing extensive information through Samsung Health App. These insights are then transformed by AI to deliver tailored health experiences.


“Sleep is a subjective experience. However, there’s tremendous value in objective measurements — like the insights wearable devices provide,” said Lopos. “Sleep tracking is an expanding space, and the capabilities of AI take it to the next level. AI technology can enable personalized information to be shared with users and empower them to make small behavioral changes for the better.”


“We’re focused on turning tracked data into intuitive and meaningful insights using AI, meaning consumers are met with more tailored experiences.” Pak added. He noted that with more products and form factors, improved sensors and advanced algorithms, technology can help individuals commit to a consistent sleep schedule and learn how to get a better night’s sleep.


Hill agreed that users will feel the benefits of AI on a tangible and personal level, particularly through upcoming Samsung Health features like My Vitality Score and the Booster Card,3 which combine richer data with more responsive analysis to make user guidance more personalized and actionable in their daily lives.



Through this in-depth expert panel session, Samsung is celebrating World Sleep Day and will continue prioritizing sleep health as it expands its tech capabilities and evolving product portfolio. In addition to heart health monitoring during sleep, Samsung will be adding new sleep metrics to underscore its commitment to health, wellness and sound sleep, including heart rate, respiratory rate, night movement, and sleep latency, as well as sleep stage, blood oxygen and skin temperature. In addition, Samsung will support a sleep apnea feature4 that will go beyond simple monitoring and analyze blood oxygen levels during sleep, detect signs of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea and help users seek appropriate care. Samsung is committed to leveraging its technology and the Samsung ecosystem to give everyone the insights they need to achieve their lifelong wellness goals.



1 The U.S. widely observes daylight saving time. Only a few states, or parts of them, opt out of the practice or adopt it year round without a biannual switch.
2 Availability may vary depending on market, model and the paired smartphone.
3 My Vitality Score and Booster Card will be made available on Samsung Health within 2024. Availability may vary by market, carrier, or wearable device.
4 The Sleep Apnea Feature is an over-the-counter (OTC) software-only, mobile medical application operating on a compatible Samsung Galaxy Watch and Phone. This feature is intended to detect signs of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea in the form of significant breathing disruptions in adult users 22 years and older, over a two-night monitoring period. It is intended for on demand use. This feature is not intended for users who have previously been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Users should not use this feature to replace traditional methods of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified clinician. The data provided by this device is also not intended to assist clinicians in diagnosing sleep disorders.

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