FDA Approves Anti-PTSD Nightmare Device

The digital therapeutic administers gentle vibrations meant to reduce sleep disturbances.

No one likes a nightmare, particularly those suffering from PTSD whose dreams are linked to actual traumatic events based in reality. A recent MEDTECHDIVE article noted the FDA’s green light of a device intended to help these folks. 

The technology was developed by Nightware, a startup based in Minneapolis. It employs an Apple Watch and iPhone to send data to Nightware’s servers where a proprietary algorithm uses artificial intelligence to create a custom sleep profile for the user. It then detects nightmares by analyzing heart rate and body movement, and uses vibrations to arouse the wearer without waking them. That way, the nightmare is interrupted, but restful circadian sleep patterns continue. The product received breakthrough device designation in May 2019, but the FDA advises it should be used in conjunction with prescribed medications and other therapies.