At Swinburne University of Technology we have collaborated on research projects with industry, government and research organisations around the world.
"Four years' product development time saved."
David Kaplan, CEO, Protect A Bed Australia Pty Ltd
Swinburne researcher Dr Ambarish Kulkarni has worked with Protect A Bed to design a sleep system to prevent sleep apnoea.
His research used cutting-edge information and communications technology systems - specifically virtual reality and augmented reality tools - to reduce the design cycle and improve the effectiveness of ergonomic support systems targeting sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat come together or collapse during sleep, blocking off the upper part of the airway. Traditional sleep apnoea treatments are invasive and expensive. They can include wearing a mask or a mouth guard at night to help keep airways clear.
“The sleep system is less invasive and involves a specially designed pillow and bed,” Dr Kulkarni said. “It works by ensuring the user maintains a position and incline level while asleep to improve breathing, comfort and reduce snoring.
“In addition, this sleep system offers modularity with an option of twelve variations, so it can suit different users.”
The pillow is already being sold in Australia and overseas, while there are plans underway to market the sleep system nationally and internationally.
The system was also named as a finalist in the prestigious Premier’s Design Awards in 2014.