Scale-up and
tech transfer

Effective health case for
printed electronics

The TNO at Holst Centre’s strong local partnership with The Sleep Company and Metafas has resulted in a breakthrough sensory device that effectively and unobtrusively prevents sleep apnoea symptoms.
Technology explained

Founder of The Sleep Company, Ronald Horvers, suffered from severe sleep apnoea for years. Position therapy proved to be an effective remedy but required wearing a visible and uncomfortable chest strap. Horvers began the search for an unobtrusive but effective sleep-apnoea-prevention device and ended up at TNO at Holst Centre. The result is Sleep Assist: a thin and flexible sensor mat that is placed underneath the bed sheets. An innovative sensor network and AI-based algorithms determine the position of the user. The mat gives off small vibrations when the user turns to the more apnoea-sensitive supine position. After completion of the development, the prototype device was successfully transferred to printed electronics manufacturing company Metafas for upscaling.

Societal benefits

With its printed electronics technology, TNO at Holst Centre is at the forefront of the development of conformable electronics that can be embedded directly into fabrics, plastics and construction materials. This means we can all benefit from unobtrusive, comfortable and reliable devices that adapt to our bodies and daily life, such as the ultra-slim and flexible Sleep Assist device.