Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
PTSDPal works side by side with you assisting in helping your thoughts. The smart watch app works by responding to variations in your heart rate through the pulse in your wrist, and offers you an immediate guided, calming interruption to a triggered episode like a flashback.
In the first 60 seconds of the app starting, the algorithm monitors your heart rate and creates a personalised baseline heart rate measure. This baseline is recalibrated every three minutes to maximize accuracy.
This baseline heart rate is used to determine when you have been triggered.
When you’re triggered PTSDPal shows you five random images, which you should try and find in your surroundings. Simply swipe right if you see the actual object and left if you don’t.
Then another five random images are shown, but this time you focus on the sound that the object makes. If you can hear the sound in your immediate environment swipe right and left if you don’t.
This is the same technique used by psychologists on a daily basis as a treatment of acute triggers and episodes.
PTSDPal tracks and records how many times you are triggered and when. By looking at the patterns documented in your data records, you can determine your triggers and work with your health professional to create an effective treatment plan going forward.
The data is stored on an Excel spreadsheet that can be sent either directly from the watch or phone app to an email specified by you.
The data only states the date and time of each episode. The app does not link your data to a name or identity. The data is kept on the individual’s device and is not uploaded to any server, this ensures the data is never misused or sold on to a third party.
Please contact us with questions, feedback and suggestions on the app, we are keen to hear your thoughts on how effective it is in helping you manage your symptoms. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our feedback form.