Feature

This smartwatch app helps stop PTSD nightmares

The app now works with the Apple Watch and will be available by prescription through the Veterans Administration

Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a watch to help combat PTSD nightmares.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a smartwatch app developed by a college student "to help stop his dad's nightmares," said Martha Ann Overland at NPR. Tyler Skluzacek was a senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, when he entered a hackathon "focused on developing apps to help people with PTSD."

Skluzacek's father, Patrick, was "consumed by nightmares" after his U.S. Army service as a convoy commander in Iraq. Skluzacek designed a smartwatch app that could "detect the onset of night terrors based on the wearer's heart rate and movement." The watch would then gently vibrate to "disrupt the bad dream." After five years of development, the app now works with the Apple Watch and will be available by prescription through the Veterans Administration.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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