The Emerging Sleep Wellness Market

Withings Aura

The lead image for the Times article featured the Withings Aura, a very sensitive under-the mattress sensor that connects with a colored night light and alarm clock. The light can change colors from blue, which is good for waking you up in the morning, to red, which is preferred at night since blue light inhibits melatonin production and the biological clock that tells the body it’s time to sleep. But instead of showing the bluish version, I found this red version more appropriate for an article on sleep.

Consumers are learning how sleep affects health, safety and productivity, thanks to a flood of articles in the scientific literature and mainstream news media. Today I responded to Collecting Data on a Good Night’s Sleep, an article in The New York Times about all of the fitness activity trackers and under-the-mattress sensors.

These sensors basically tell you what you already know — you don’t sleep well — but few actually help you sleep better. Some attempt to monitor sleep and wake you at the best time close to when you set your alarm. They may even show graphs of sleep patterns, based on how much you move or even your heart rate, but they can’t be very accurate without also measuring brainwave activity. Zeo was the one product I know of that did that fairly well, but it ended up going under. Read More …

eHealth Radio interviews Modern Health Talk founder

Image of Wayne Caswell, founder of Modern Health TalkeHealth Radio host Eric Michaels recently interviewed Modern Health Talk founder Wayne Caswell, and we thank him for letting us share our story with his audience. You can listen to the recorded podcast below, visit for related radio programs, or read Wayne’s program notes below.

Wayne Caswell discusses and answers the following:

  • What is Modern Health Talk, and what unique perspective do you bring?
  • Aging-in-Place and Universal Design are terms we often hear today, but what do they mean, and who is most interested?
  • Please describe the size of the problem and the market opportunity for solutions.
  • So what technical solutions address the rising healthcare costs and improve quality?
  • Can you mention some other Technologies for home healthcare as an alternative to more institutional care?

Read More …

A History of Tech Innovation — Were You There?

My story


Wayne Caswell with his mom, Mildred Murray Caswell (4/19/1921 — 9/13/2002)

As a retired 30-year IBMer, I dedicate this article to IBM’s 100th anniversary with a video posted at the end as a way to reflect on past innovations and envision and hopefully inspire new innovations in important areas such as health care. Here’s my story, which has influenced my perspective and interest in finding healthcare solutions. Please share your own story as an email or a comment at the end.

My path into Technology

  • As an avid Boy Scout, I planned to become a forester or geologist, but then I took a high school course in Data Processing using punched card machines.
  • I studied data processing in a junior college and then transferred to Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) when it was one of just three universities with a Computer Science program, including MIT & CIT.
  • It was expensive, and tuition increased beyond what mom & dad could pay, so after two years I was forced to come back to Virginia and my old community college where I worked full time to pay my own way while also carrying a full course load.
  • I started working for IBM in Washington, D.C. in 1969 as a punch card operator and then as a computer operator on an IBM 360/30 while also taking courses and planning to return to FIT and pay my way there too.
  • But I lost my student deferment and was drafted into the Army during the Vietnam War. By then the Army was desperate and also drafted young married men with kids.
  • I didn’t have to fight in Vietnam and was stationed at Ft. Hood, TX, thanks mostly to my IBM experience. The company also supplemented my Army pay and sent me my hometown paper and care packages during my service. And they guaranteed me a job when I returned.
  • I was a computer operator in the Army, then a programmer, and finally computer operations supervisor. Ft. Hood hosts an armored division (tanks), and the soldiers were always going on maneuvers in the hot and dusty climate with just a few hours notice, but I worked in air conditioned vans that housed the different computer components.
  • I advanced to Specialist 5 in just a year, which was unheard of for someone without combat experience, and I got out early when the war ended and the Army had too many people.
  • I returned to IBM as a computer operator on a System 370/158 and returned to my old junior college, where I pulled together the right courses to earn three Associates degrees in just one semester.
  • When I started at American University, I was forced to take all graduate courses to earn a Bachelor’s degree. I had way more college credits than a Bachelor’s degree required, but the school wanted the revenue.
  • I took a full-time graduate course load while working at IBM and advancing to programmer and then systems programmer. Then I got an opportunity to become an IBM Systems Engineer (SE). I considered location options and accepted a job in San Antonio, where I met and married Yvonne.

Read More …