Designed by an Australian Defence Force veteran, PTSDPal is a smartwatch app that gives users 24/7 support to help with symptom management. The app is designed to respond to variations in the user’s heart rate by monitoring their pulse through their wrist. It immediately offers a guided, calming interruption when it detects a user is experiencing a triggered episode.
PTSDPal was created with the vision that people living with PTSD deserve practical help through a simple, on-hand solution such as an app. By helping users become more aware of their PTSD symptoms, this app proves to be an integral component of a larger treatment plan. It empowers users by providing them with knowledge-based cognitive grounding techniques that engage their sense of sound and sight. Through self-grounding, users will be distracted from the triggered emotions, allowing them to focus on the present moment.
By utilizing an algorithm that monitors the user’s heart rate, PTSDPal creates a personalized baseline heart rate measure, which it will use to design appropriate responses. For maximum precision, this baseline is recalibrated every three minutes. This way, users will receive accurate calming interruptions to deescalate stressful situations.
In response to a user’s trigger, PTSDPal will display five images at random. The app then prompts the user to attempt to find those images in their surroundings. By swiping right, the user can confirm they saw the object. By swiping left, they are registering that they didn’t see the object. The process is then repeated but with sound rather than sight.
Although PTSDPal isn’t intended to replace the professional care, it can give users the courage they need to go out in public again. By offering the convenience of a smartwatch app, PTSDPal can be used at home or on the go. It even allows users to preload numbers like Beyond Blue, Lifeline, and personal contacts, making them easily accessible.
PTSDPal even helps users manage their symptoms by providing them with a record of each time they are triggered. This way, users can track their triggers and present them to their healthcare professional when discussing a treatment plan to attain a more fulfilling life.