Sleep Apps Are Unproven
Sleep apps (SA) remain among the most popular apps downloaded for Apple and Android devices. The number of available SA is continually growing. SA claim to track and define sleep. Unfortunately, little validation data exist regarding the ability of SA to accurately measure sleep.
A recent scientific review of SA noted that they are not subject to United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight. The FDA has published a position statement with accompanying documents explaining how they will regulate mobile applications, yet to date almost no mobile sleep apps have undergone such review. The lack of validation data and absence of FDA clearance raises concerns about the accuracy of SA data.
SA data is not standardized, and raw data and proprietary algorithms are typically unavailable to clinicians, yet clinicians are often asked by patients to review and render an opinion on SA data.
Given the unknown potential of SA to measure sleep, these tools are largely unproven to accurately measure sleep.