Disease Category:
Target Audience:

Clinical Effectiveness
Version: 1.3
Developer: Sleepbot
Review Date: 2016-04-27
Cost: Free

Overall App Summary:

SleepBot sits within a crowded class of sleep-related apps that are not based on valid methods and are not validated themselves. SleepBot, like similar apps, claims that user-generated sleep movements (as measured by the smart phone lying next to the user) informs sleep stages, thereby allowing a “smart alarm” to awaken the user at just the right time. This is meant to increase the chance of feeling comfortable and well rested upon awakening. SleepBot has not been shown perform this function and users may be misled in using it.


App’s Intended Use:

SleepBot is a multi-function sleep app, but primarily aims to track sleep and provide means to awaken more “gently” using the “smart alarm” feature.


Who’s this app most useful for?

SleepBot is intended for people who want to monitor sleep, improve sleep, and want to wake up more comfortably – and not groggy or sleepy. Although it provides various types of data, the primary intervention (“smart alarm”) is not based on valid methods, nor has SleepBot itself been shown to be effective.


How should one use it?

The main features on SleepBot cannot be recommended: (1) tracking sleep by monitoring sound, (2) tracking sleep by measuring smart phone movements (as it sits adjacent to the sleeper), and (3) the “smart alarm.” The minor features might appeal to people interested in logging and rating their own sleep and reading about sleep (recommendations on “help me fall asleep”, “help me stay awake,” and “learn about sleep.”)


Why should anyone use this app?  Is it clinically relevant?

The app is clinically relevant as sleep duration and quality are critically to bodily function and most adults do not get adequate sleep. The app also incorporates the concept of sleep debt. However, despite the clinical relevance, there is not much clinical utility. There are no clear benefits of SleepBot. It is similar to many other apps that make the same claim (“smart alarms”) and use the same methods. SleepBot uses the smart phone accelerometer, while the smart phone lies adjacent to the sleeper. It then assumes that the sleeper’s movements are associated with specific sleep stages, enabling a “smart alarm” to ring at the right time – awakening the sleeper only during a sleep stage that will not produce grogginess. It is not based on valid methods and SleepBot has not been shown to be effective.


Is there any published evidence that the app actually works?

Not that the reviewers are aware of.


Regulatory Compliance

Not FDA cleared, but most likely exempt under mobile medical application guidance — enforcement discretion.


What is the most important/ desirable feature of the app?

SleepBot has a nice user interface and is fairly easy to use. The visual data on sleep cycle as well as sleep debt is a nice feature.


How is the app’s usability (look and feel; ease of use)?

Good (Mostly clear, able to select locate, read items); easy to use. The interface is visually appealing, which may lead users to believe in its effectiveness.


How would you compare this app to others in its category?

SleepBot is very similar to many other “smart alarm” apps.


If there’s a paid version, is it worth the upgrade?

No paid version.


Security and Privacy

Password: Not required
Data Security: No mention
Data Sharing: No mention
Regulatory Compliance:

Adam Cohen

Dr. Adam B. Cohen, a Michigan native, is a neurologist & neuro-ophthalmologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is the Neurology Inpatient Medical Director and TeleNeurology Co-Director. He focuses on process innovation, digital health, and improving the efficiency of specialty health care delivery.

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Consultant/ Advisor: Decibel Therapeutics, EM Gladiators LLC; Ownership: Expertaj; Research: Academic only; no private funding.

Maulik Majmudar

Dr. Maulik Majmudar is a practicing cardiologist and Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital; and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in areas of healthcare innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as medical device design and development. Dr. Majmudar started his career as a medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, completed resident training in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and followed by a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School. You can follow him @mmajmudar

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Consultant/ Advisor: AliveCor, BioFourmis, Cardiogram, EchoSense, Facebook, HUINNO, MC10, Nokia; Ownership: BioFourmis, Cardiogram, HiLabs, Quanttus; Research: EchoSense, GE Healthcare, MIT.

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