Student develops smartwatch app to help veterans suffering night terrors from PTSD

Student develops smartwatch app to help veterans suffering night terrors from PTSD
Tyler Skluzacek’s father is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and after a year-long deployment, Sergeant First Class Patrick Skulzacek found himself a changed man, contending with various symptoms of PTSD, including night terrors.

“At three in the morning all of the sudden I’m startled awake,” says SFC Skulzacek. Tyler, now a senior at Macalester College, saw the changes in his father, and that inspired him to create something that may help not only his dad, but also help other veterans, and anyone else suffering from PTSD.

Tyler and his friends entered a programming contest called HackDC. At these hackathons, teams get challenged to hammer through code and create apps in mind-numbing speeds. Tyler’s team, “The Cure,” produced an app called myBivy (short for bivouac, meaning place to sleep).

The Cure won top spot for its category at HackDC

The Cure won top spot for its category at HackDC

myBivy operates through wearables, like Android Wear, Apple Watch, or Pebble, to monitor heart rate and body movement during sleep. “After a couple weeks of tracking the soldier we can find the exact symptoms of the onset of the panic attack and try to use the watch or use the android phone to disrupt that or take them out of the deep sleep but keep them asleep.”

For their part, The Cure won the top prize for their category, $1,500, which the team immediately funneled to development, and start a Kickstarter campaign so they may continue development.

The team plans to begin clinical trials in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs early next year.

This may prove to be another handy tool outside of prescription drugs for veterans and others that suffer from PTSD. The VA and other entities have produced PTSD tools for smartphones before, but this is the first development that attempts to bring the technology into a more interventionist role.

The Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its goal. You can check it out in the source link below.



sources: Kickstarter via KARE News

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9 Comments

1. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

I takes war veterans son to come up with app but the government. How sad.

2. AlikMalix unregistered

I dont understand there are numerous apps in the App Store and Google Play that track, assess, and help dealing with PTSD... How is this different? Dont get me wrong, kudos for the award... but I heard about these apps back when I was using iPhone 3GS...

3. B-power

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 22, 2014

It's on a smartwatch now.

4. AlikMalix unregistered

Well according to the guy's description the real magic happens on his "android phone"...

5. tedkord

Posts: 17041; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nice to see something really useful coming from smartwatches.

6. combatmedic870

Posts: 982; Member since: Sep 02, 2015

Hmm...have to give this a try I guess. I hate to sleep.

7. 497362

Posts: 60; Member since: Aug 27, 2015

its a great idea, but still just another symptom treatment. true recovery only comes from reliving the traumatic experience in a controlled way, to remove the emotion from the memory. an app that does that would be great.

8. goodmorrow

Posts: 26; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

Night terrors at 3am? Sounds like witching hour stuff...

9. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

This is the kind of article that deserves far more than 8, now 9, comments. Good on those kids.

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