Snore app can provide wake-up call for sleep apnoea

Project one of 62 research awards announced by Minister for Research Seán Sherlock

At the Science Gallery in Dublin were director general of Science Foundation Ireland Prof Mark Ferguson,  Minister of State for Research Seán Sherlock, and   Tia Keyes and Dr Nick Bennett of DCU. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

At the Science Gallery in Dublin were director general of Science Foundation Ireland Prof Mark Ferguson, Minister of State for Research Seán Sherlock, and Tia Keyes and Dr Nick Bennett of DCU. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

Fri, May 24, 2013, 01:00

It could be the answer to all those sleepless nights – a phone app that can help end your snoring.

Prof Kevin McGuigan at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland is developing a phone and laptop app that can record and analyse your sleep sounds and predict whether you have a form of snoring called sleep apnoea.

The project is one of 62 research awards announced yesterday by Minister of State for Research and Innovation Seán Sherlock. The €6.9 million investment comes via Science Foundation Ireland in collaboration with Enterprise Ireland.

Artificial nose
The awards cover an amazing range from a fibre-optic artificial nose being developed at Dublin Institute of Technology to harvesting free electricity from the heat given off by your computer, a project under way at Dublin City University.

The projects are supported under a programme called Tida ( Technology Innovation Development Award), said science foundation director general Prof Mark Ferguson.

The thing they all have in common is they are ideas that have the potential to become products and generate spin-out companies, Prof Ferguson said. “All have great potential relevance and application.”

He said there was great interest amongst the research community in the programme given there were 131 applications made, from which the 62 were selected.

Economic growth
“We want to invest in people like yourselves,” Mr Sherlock told researchers and award recipients at an event at the Science Gallery in Dublin.

“You are going to be the drivers of economic growth in the future.”

Prof McGuigan received €96,000 to fund the development of the APn-App, a phone app that can detect whether you are the worst kind of snorer. Up to 90 per cent of people with the condition remain undiagnosed despite the fact it appears to have a link with cardiovascular disease.