When Tyler Skluzacek’s father Patrick came back from Iraq in 2007 after serving in the military, his life completely changed. Because of PTSD, he would have vivid and terrible nightmares every night. The only way he could sleep was with the help of vodka and pills.
As an undergrad at Macalester College in 2015, when Tyler heard about a hackathon that focused on mobile solutions for people with PTSD, he decided to participate. During the hackathon, he put together a team that would work on a smart watch solution to detect the onset of night tremors based on the person’s heart and movement. The inspiration behind this solution was service dogs that were already doing something similar – recognize when a person was experiencing a traumatic nightmare and then nudge or lick them to disrupt the bad dream. Tyler’s vision was to provide the “licking and nudging” through gentle vibrations on the smart watch. However, the real challenge was to create a stimulus through the vibrations just enough to disrupt the nightmare but continue sleep unaffected.
Tyler had the perfect guinea pig who could help test this solution – his own father! After a lot of trial & error and constant fine-tuning, Tyler eventually perfected the formula. For Patrick, this solution was life changing. After suffering for years, Patrick finally found relief not only during sleep but also in his personal life. He has since remarried and is working as a mechanic again.
The most remarkable outcome of this father-son success story is that more people will be able to benefit from this invention. An investor decided to purchase the rights to this smart watch app and start a company called NightWare to provide this solution to the masses. It was recently approved by the FDA and will soon be available to those who need it by prescription.
Watch the video below and hit the source link for more information.
Source: MPR News