Interview with Laurent Martinot, CEO & Co-Founder at Sleep Apnoea Start-Up: Sunrise

Sunrise is a medically certified at-home sleep test that works through an AI-powered innovative 3-gram sensor that sits on the user’s chin and is designed to diagnose sleep apnoea and associated sleep disorders.

We created the device – the first of its kind to offer sleep science at the tip of the chin to provide results equivalent to polysomnography – enabling users to understand their sleep disturbances in just a few simple steps.

The device gives clear, actionable results overnight and, if a sleep disorder is detected, users can choose to be put directly in touch with a sleep expert to discuss next steps, cutting down the journey to treatment from what could be months to just days.

How does the Sunrise sleep apnoea test work?

1. At the click of a button, users can order the medical 3-gram sensor to their doorstep.

2. Next, the user places the device securely on the chin before heading to sleep.

3. The sensor records data collected whilst the user is asleep to generate a thorough report shared the next morning that highlights possible sleep apnoea or other sleep conditions through the partnering Sunrise app.

4. Users are then offered the choice to connect remotely with sleep physicians and receive treatment when needed.

We wanted to create something that allowed everyone to perform a clinical test from the comfort of their own home in a natural sleeping environment – our small, non-invasive smart device, powered by AI technology, was the ideal solution.

In partnership with prestigious institutions such as the National Heart and Lung Institute and Imperial College London, and with a £4.8M investment, our device has also been designed to work collaboratively with the NHS, to relieve the pressure amid the pandemic and while most sleep laboratories are currently closed.

The Sunrise ethos centres around building trust and unique relationships with each individual user by providing a simplified healthcare pathway and therapeutic advice, between diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, we are continuing to expand our list of partnered physicians as it is our intention to become a national facilitator between patients and physicians.

It was important for us to keep the Sunrise device affordable and available for everyone to use. The tests start from just £89 for single use and alleviate individuals from going through the tedious process of sleeping in a hospital bed connected to endless wires.
Sunrise - Sleep Apnea Diagnosis - Certified Clinical Test - Chin Sensor  with A Free App - Solo Offer: Health & Personal Care

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Sunrise is the brainchild of sleep specialist Dr. Jean-Benoit Martinot, who also happens to be my father, and is the result of over a decade’s worth of research into sleep apnoea.

Through Sunrise, we wanted to raise awareness about sleep apnoea, which is a major health issue today with studies showing that sleep-disordered breathing concerns affect 49% of men and 23% of women aged 40 and above2.

The problem is that the condition remains 80% undiagnosed 3 and untreated sleep apnoea is linked with serious health problems such as hypertension, heart failure, stroke and diabetes. In fact, from our recent survey on Brits4 sleep habits, we found that there is a real lack of awareness when it comes to sleep apnoea – 68% are unaware snoring can be a symptom of the sleep disorder and a quarter don’t even know what it is.

Given the high prevalence of this condition, we have a unique opportunity to bring new technology with industry-leading performances to the patient’s home and provide fast, seamless access to a reliable sleep testing solution.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

The MedTech industry is a complex environment where caution and credibility are essential: the key is to build strong scientific and clinical evidence working with influential opinion leaders. It is then important to enter the market with a good understanding of the value chain, ensuring you have a good rapport with the different stakeholders, but always making sure to put the patient first.

A key bit of advice relevant for any entrepreneur would be to follow your gut but also make sure to take a hard look at good practices in other industries: exchange ideas and learn from others and then test, try things out and evaluate…

What can we hope to see from Sunrise in the future?

Our long-term ambition is to continue our expansion globally – we started in the Belgian and French markets and have just recently launched in the UK. To date, around 10,000 devices have been ordered.

Our aim is to eventually become fully integrated into the French healthcare system. We have received approval from the French National Authority of Health (HAS) to reimburse and test out the effectiveness of the Sunrise device on thousands of patients in France. Our objective is to gather more clinical evidence and assess the cost-effectiveness for the French government in comparison to other current sleep diagnosis pathways. The aim is to provide the French healthcare system with enough data so they are then in a position to reimburse all Sunrise patients in France.

Our priority for 2021 is to continue to build awareness of Sunrise in the UK – both amongst consumers and in the medical community – with the ambition of becoming fully integrated within the NHS pathway.

Breaking into the US market in 2022 is also a top priority for 2021.