Technologies to Target Circadian Rhythm Disruption in PTSD

Period of Performance: 09/20/2016 - 04/27/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

BioSensics LLC
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

The Birgham and Women's Hospital
Institution POC


Circadian rhythm disruption misalignment causes fatigue and a variety of physical and mental ailments, and is a clinical feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); it is also closely linked to the severity of PTSD. BioSensics, in collaboration with the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Womens Hospital, will develop a circadian rhythm and sleep coach, Rhythm Sleep, to monitor circadian rhythms, measure sleep, and identify daytime napping, and provide interventions including appropriately-timed light-dark exposure and targeted biofeedback to promote habits that lead to a more consolidated and healthy sleep-wake rhythm. Rhythm Sleep measures physiological signals to identify circadian rhythms, physical activity patterns, and daytime napping. These data then inform a biofeedback system that will reduce day-to-day fluctuations in sleep patterns through light stimulus, activity suggestions, heart rate biofeedback, and disruption of daytime napping. Rhythm Sleep consists of three interconnected modules: 1) A wearable wireless sensor module, worn over the ear, that contains physiological and environmental sensors; 2) a light modulation unit to provide customized, adjustable light therapy, and 3) a smartphone app to integrate all the sensor signals, modify the daily light therapy, provide coaching to encourage healthy sleep, and provide stimulation to deter daytime napping.