Prescription-Only Apple App Helps Veterans, Active Service Members Deal With PTSD Nightmares

Prescription-Only Apple App Helps Veterans, Active Service Members Deal With PTSD Nightmares

NightWare, a "digital therapeutic system" that works in conjunction with Apple Inc.'s AAPL smartwatch and iPhone, is helping veterans and active service members who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, deal with nightmares and get a good night’s sleep.

What Happened: It’s available by prescription and is the first and only digital therapeutic developed specifically to treat nightmares that has received FDA approval. 

NightWare leverages information from the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope to detect a nightmare. If it senses a person having a nightmare, the platform sends haptic feedback, generating gentle pulses on the user’s wrist to cleverly disrupt the nightmare without affecting their sleep. 

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Apple shared the story of Robert Guithues, an Army veteran who served for over two decades and has PTSD. He used to wake up at night thinking he was back in the burning oil fields outside Baghdad, but it all changed when he started using NightWare.  

“Some of the most horrific sights I’ve ever seen kept playing over and over, but when I started using NightWare, they stopped,” Guithues said. 

Why It’s Important: NightWare is prescribed to 400 patients in the U.S. so far, of which 98% are active-duty military or veterans, according to AppleInsider. 

According to a peer-reviewed "Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine," participants who used NightWare 50% of the time had considerably better self-supported sleep than their counterparts.  

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Posted In: Apple WatchConsumer TechiPhoneNightWarePTSDNewsTech