A teenager’s concern for his dad has kept him up at night worrying, but his ultimate solution could help millions of veterans sleep better.
Tyler Skluzacek’s father returned from a year’s service in Iraq suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The veteran would wake up from deep sleep with night terrors or panic attacks.
Now an app to track heart rate and movement has been created by Tyler and his friends to gauge what the onset of an attack looks like in terms of physical benchmarks. When the symptoms occur, the app could nudge the wearer out of deep sleep — away from a night terror — without fully waking him.
The Android phone app can connect to a Bluetooth watch (costing as little as $30), which would be worn at night. Essentially, the system would detect the onset of night terrors and prevent them from happening.
The team, who call themselves “The Cure,” created the app in just 36 hours during Hack DC — an annual coding contest that had a theme of “hacking PTSD” this year. The Cure team took first place for their myBivy app, short for “bivouac,” a place where soldiers sleep in the field.
Tyler set up a Kickstarter page to further develop the app for Android, iOS, and Pebble devices. It has raised nearly $14,000, more than 10 times its original goal, in just nine days.
They plan to begin tests in January and make the app available sometime before summer of 2016.
“My team and I have a saying right now,” Tyler told KARE News, “‘We won’t sleep until the veterans can.’”
(WATCH the KARE News video below) Photos: KARE video