In terms of the user interface design there are not many more things to improve. We are happy with the visual layout and simplicity but looking into the future, especially when considering that it will all need to be coded, we are trying to make the app as simple and strait forward as possible – making it easier both for the user and the coder. On the other prototype we have also been making progress trying to quantify what values will actually be relevant when determining when to use the trigger. Unfortunately regarding heart rate we discovered that it is highly variable among different people. This means it will need to be on a case by case basis and cannot rely on any base assumptions for the heart rate. On the more positive side however, we learned a lot about breathing patterns in different states of sleep, and the efficiency with which a microphone can detect the volume and strength of a breath. In REM, the minute ventilation is 6.46+-0.29 as compared to 7.24+- 0.39 in other stages. We would be using the process of spirometry to take measurements using breath. We are still working to find data on the amount of movement during sleep – which can also be difficult from the loose definition of movement. As we move forward, we will need to specifically define this and find the variable that it is most closely correlated to. One other discovery we made was the cycle of REM sleep. Typically in 90 minute cycles, REM happens for about 20 minutes but gets progressively longer after each cycle. This can be extremely helpful in setting up parameters for when the sensors are going to actually be sensing and expecting the individual to be in REM. There is still a lot of research to be done, but what we have found so far has been extremely helpful and relevant to our goal.
An idea that we have been entertaining also is contacting the various companies that already have programs for breath detection as well as movement. If we were able to get parts of their code, we believe this would make much less work for the programmer on our side, so we are also going to reach out to these companies. Hopefully they will understand the project and recognize that we are in no way any type of competition but rather using their technology to serve another purpose.