Inspiration

As a society that is exposed to artificial light more often than natural light, various conditions can arise due to the disruption of the circadian rhythm (sleep cycle). When light enters through the eyes, signals are sent to the brain in order to produce hormones that tell our body when to sleep and when to wake up. The human body runs on its own clock. A body clock synchronized with daytime and nighttime is essential for a healthy life. An unbalanced sleep cycle can lead to different disorders. Even the lack of light at specific times of the day can lead to the development of psychological or sleep disorders.

What it does

IlumiTherapy is a phone application that works with the Ilumi LED Smartbulb. The Ilumi bulb serves as a source of phototherapy or light therapy for patients. A list of conditions and disorders is provided in the app, and once the patient selects what they are suffering from, they can begin their light therapy. After providing the user with instructions and a description on how it will work, the therapy will begin for the patient at the designated time and with the designated colors. With IlumiTherapy, the patient does not have to worry about when to use light therapy or about the intensity of the light-- with lightboxes, patients have to control everything themselves. IlumiTherapy monitors all of that for the patients. IlumiTherapy sets light scenarios to specific schedules, which are different depending on the condition. The conditions we currently treat include, but are not limited to: Seasonal Affective Disorders (aka "winter blues"), Dementia/Alzheimer's, Type 2 Diabetes, Circadian Rhythm Disorders, Insomnia, Shift Maladaptation Syndrome (from night shift work), and Jet Lag.

How we built it

IlumiTherapy was built on Android using the Ilumi SDK. We built the app from just a sample app and wrote all of the Java code and XML layouts from scratch.

Challenges we ran into

Ilumi does not supply documentation for their SDK. Additionally, due to the SDK being in a JAR file, we could not view the implementation. Because of this, we had to navigate around any errors we encountered on our own, even going as far as reimplementing some broken SDK methods.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our first major hurdle and achievement was simply getting the Ilumi to connect to our Android app. We were provided with working connection code late in the hackathon, so we had to really push ourselves to get the connection to the bulb working on time.

Turning the light on and off, and then to different colors seemed to be broken in the SDK. We reimplemented some of these methods ourselves.

We are very proud of the possible impact of this app. With light therapy being an emerging field in medical science, we firmly believe that an app of this sort combined with hardware like the Ilumi could be truly beneficial to patients suffering from a wide array of illnesses.

What we learned

We learned that even with technical challenges, it can be extremely beneficial to ourselves as developers to work with hardware that we're not familiar with or encounter problems with. In industry, one does not always have the choice of what hardware or software that they work with.

Time constraints taught us how to rapidly prototype an idea even if the UI/UX is not perfect.

What's next for IlumiTherapy

We hope to incorporate more disorders to IlumiTherapy, as well as increase it's accuracy on the time, duration, and colors of the therapy sessions. We also want to add a tracker where the patient rates how they felt that day; IlumiTherapy monitors if they used light therapy that day. With this feature, the patient can check whether IlumiTherapy is being effective in their case.

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