S+ by ResMed
Pros:Contactless monitoring. Slick design. Useful sleep data. No monthly fee.
Cons:Difficult to set up. Incomplete analysis. Lack of sleep apnea detection.
How does the first contactless sleep monitor perform? ResMed has done a good job, but there is plenty of room for improvement.
The S+ is one of the first contactless sleep monitors on the market. Brought to you by ResMed, a company that specializes in sleep apnea and related products, whose CPAP machines and masks are usually ordered by doctors and require a prescription. The S+ is ResMed’s first product that is directly targeted to consumers and it doesn’t require a prescription or a doctor supervision to use.
The device is a well-designed sensor that you can set on your night stand. To best use the features of the ResMed S+, the user must point it at their chest and keep the device at an arm’s length, to ensure it can properly detect your vitals. Once downloaded, the app that works on iOS and Android, the user needs to create an account and sync the S+ with a smartphone via Bluetooth. In testing, the setup was more difficult than anticipated.
Every night, before bed, the user must make sure their phone is properly synced with the S+ and they also must complete a questionnaire that inquires about their level of stress, alcohol and caffeine consumptions, and how much they exercised that day.
The S+ seemed more useful for people who don’t always get a good night’s sleep. The S+ calculates how many hours of actual sleep you had each evening and it breaks it down into light, deep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. It then compares this number to an average cycle of expected sleep and informs the user if they should get more REM sleep. This is helpful because your brain is more refreshed the next day or more deep sleep so your body has more energy with an increased amount of REM sleep.
The S+ app provides the user an overview of how they slept the night before as well as the history of their previous nights. The user can also log into the website to view a more detailed history of their sleep. Just recently, a new feature has been added to the website where users can select up to 28 nights of sleep and have a summary prepared to take to your doctor. While the concept of sharing your sleep results with your doctor is appealing, we didn’t like the lack of detailed information. A sleep doctor might want to see more details to properly evaluate your sleep patterns. In general, we feel that with the amount of data collected, ResMed can do a better job at presenting a more thorough analysis on the website.
While the S+ does a fairly good job in collecting sleeping patterns, we came across a few glitches during testing. For example, if you wake up and stop your sleep session through your phone, and later decide to go back to sleep, the website doesn’t comprehend that you had two sleep sessions in one night. We also found that re-syncing the phone with the S+ every night is not always so simple, as it often times requires restarting the Bluetooth connection and rediscovering the device. Testers had this issue with both iPhones and Android phones.
Our biggest complaint is that we would expect from ResMed to detect if the person is snoring or having sleep apnea episodes, and the S+ does not have that function ability. We had one of our editors who suffers from loud snoring and severe sleep apnea, to use the S+. The S+ did not detect the snoring, not even as loud noise, nor did it detect episode of sleep apnea.
The S+ has a retail value of $150, but ResMed doesn’t charge a monthly fee for the sleep monitoring or the website access, which is a big plus. In general we like the concept of the S+, but we expected a bit more from ResMed. A fully featured website and the ability to properly detect sleep problems would turn the S+ into a great product.