When Tyler Skluzacek’s father, Patrick, returned from Iraq in 2007 after completing his military service, his life changed completely. Because of PTSD, he had vivid and terrible nightmares every night. He could only sleep with vodka and pills.
When a student at Macalester College heard of a hackathon in 2015 that focused on mobile solutions for people with PTSD, he decided to participate. During the hackathon, he put together a team to work on a smart watch solution to detect the occurrence of night tremors based on the person’s heart and movement. The inspiration for this solution was service dogs, who were already doing something similar – recognizing when a person was experiencing a traumatic nightmare and then nudging or licking them to disrupt the bad dream. Tyler’s vision was to “lick and nudge” the smartwatch with gentle vibrations. The real challenge, however, was to use the vibrations to create a stimulus just enough to disrupt the nightmare but continue to sleep unaffected.
Tyler had the perfect guinea pig to help test this solution – his own father! After much trial and error and constant fine-tuning, Tyler finally perfected the formula. For Patrick this solution was life changing. After years of suffering, Patrick finally found relief not only in sleep but in his personal life as well. He has since remarried and is working as a mechanic again.
The most notable result of this father-son success story is that more people can benefit from this invention. An investor decided to acquire the rights to this smartwatch app and set up a company called NightWare to bring this solution to the masses. It was recently approved by the FDA and will be available shortly to those who need it by prescription.
Check out the video below and click the source link for more information.
Source: MPR News
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