Andy Salamon, a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, watched his father struggle with undiagnosed sleep apnea, which occurs when the airway gets blocked during sleep.
"It was years, and a lot of nudging from the family for him to do something," Salamon said, in an exclusive interview with CNBC, announcing the launch of his new company Rested. "And then it took months to get help through a visit to the doctor, a referral to a specialist and lab tests before he could get treated."
With Rested, Salamon wants to help people determine if they're at risk for sleep disorders -- and get the assistance they need. He's hoping that by digitizing many of the traditional processes, such as offering virtual doctor visits, he can dramatically reduce the costs of getting diagnosed and treated.
Rested, which has raised $7.4 million in venture capital, offers a free service that assesses risk for sleep problems and provides coaching to help people sleep better. It also has a paid offering, which includes an in-app consultation with a doctor who can make a diagnosis after viewing the results from a home sleep test. That's much easier and cheaper than traveling to a sleep center for an overnight stay, said Salamon.
Rested also enables virtual visits with a respiratory therapist via the app, allowing experts to remotely fit the user with a sleep mask.
With the new financing, Rested is expanding nationwide. Currently, the beta service is only available in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Virginia.