Millions of veterans struggle with the debilitating effects of PTSD, including panic attacks that can freeze someone in terror and stress at a moment's notice. We wanted to help these individuals who risked their lives for our country and put our tech to doing good.
What it does
P/R monitors heart rate data from a FitBit Ionic and sets of a sequence of events when an upper threshold is reached, signifying the onset of anxiety in the wearer.
Calming music is played.
The wearer is prompted to reach out for help, and if permission is granted, an automated text goes to a trusted family member or friend that informs the contact of the wearer's distress.
How we built it
The heart rate data is pulled from the synced FitBit data using FitBit's Web API.
The threshold trip is checked via a python script, which also manages the call to the Spotify API and the Twilio message command to the family member/friend. Audio is played with VLC.
Challenges we ran into
Authentication for FitBit is (thankfully) involved for security reasons. Sync rate and other latency leads to lag on the real-time nature of the data.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of the system integration of many new tools and technologies that we haven't worked with before!
What we learned
We learned a lot about the OAuth process, as well as the benefits and challenges of working with python API wrappers.
What's next for Panic/React
The prototype in python does not allow for low-latency data usage, so porting this proof-of-concept into an onboard FitBit + companion mobile application or companion smart speaker application would be the next step. We also hope to incorporate more of a backend so that the threshold heart rate can be dynamically calculated as a deviance from the average, which is more consistent with the science of anxiety attacks.