top of page

Research Collaboration using Wearable Devices to Study Sleep Disorders in Japan

Original Article By: BusinessWire

Summarized By: Neurobit

Two companies have announced their collaboration on a research project exploring the use of wearable devices to help patients with narcolepsy and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) associated with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS): Aculys Pharma, Inc. (“Aculys”) and Four H, Inc. (“Four H”). Within the fields of neurology and psychiatry, Aculys specializing in the development and commercialization of novel drugs. Similarly, Four H is a Japanese company focusing on health technology.

Aculys is promoting DX (digital transformation) in clinical trials and medicine in an attempt to establish a new pharmaceutical model. In the study with Four H, Aculys will collect data using subjective assessments of participants' sleep as well as other sleep data such as their heart rate which will be collected from wearable devices to be worn each night during the clinical trial period. The data will be analyzed in conjunction with other data to be obtained in the clinical trial with the goal of identifying sleep-related digital biomarkers.

The research program aims to gather an objective understanding of narcolepsy, OSAS, and its characteristics (sleep condition, daytime sleepiness, etc.), analyze the data using AI and other analytic tools, and develop reliable digital biomarkers for future research and clinical settings.

Because much of self-report data relies on participants' memories, sleep disorders are difficult to objectively identify and as a result, can cause challenges in assigning appropriate treatment plans to individuals. This research will help better identify the sleep and lifestyle patterns of patients in order to better predict their health risks using digital biomarkers, and improve their quality of life and disease management

This exploratory research will allow a further accurate understanding of each patient’s sleep and lifestyle patterns, which had been difficult to measure previously. Over the long term, we collectively plan to build a comprehensive sleep ecosystem for patients, including digital biomarkers which can be used to predict health risks; personalized data to improve patient quality of life and productivity; and quality disease management programs that patients can utilize at home.

The effects of sleep-disordered breathing on Japanese society are far-reaching. Studies have found that decreased workplace productivity due to health issues and employees taking time off due to health problems is costing the Japanese economy over 15 trillion yen, a 3 percent decrease in the GDP. The Japanese people are sleeping less than people in other countries, due to a lack of understanding of how important sleep is for health. For this reason, the Japanese government is working to increase sleep awareness through their “National Health Promotion Movement in the Twenty-First Century (Health Japan 21)” initiative.


BusinessWire. (2023, January 24). Aculys Pharma and Four H Initiate Research Collaboration using Wearable Devices to Study Sleep Disorders in Japan. Business Wire. Retrieved January 25, 2023, from

Hafner, M., Aillaud, P., Mazzuco, S., & Böckerman, P. (2016). Why Sleep Matters-The Economic Costs of Insufficient Sleep. Cambridge, UK: RAND Europe.

OECD. (2009). Society at a Glance 2009: OECD Social Indicators. OECD Publishing, Paris.

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. (2019). Research report on health and nutrition of Japanese nationals.

Lyons, M. M., Malhotra, A., Carlisle, J., Al Khaja, N., Shuaib, M., & O’Donoghue, F. (2020). Global burden of sleep-disordered breathing and its implications. Respirology, 25(7), 690-702.

Skaer, T. L., & Sclar, D. A. (2010). Economic implications of sleep disorders. Pharmacoeconomics, 28(11), 1015–1023.

Leger, D., Bayon, V., Laaban, J. P., et al. (2012). Impact of sleep apnea on economics. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 16, 455–462.

Flores, N. M., Villa, K. F., Black, J., Chervin, R. D., & Witt, E. A. (2009). The humanistic and economic burden of narcolepsy. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 5(4), 359-369.

bottom of page