One of the biggest challenges for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is being able to recognize and cope with symptoms such as flashbacks, insomnia, and panic attacks. Symple gives people more control over their mental health by enabling them to anticipate, manage, and track their PTSD symptoms. The app is designed to accompany a wearable smart device that monitors the individual’s physical and mental health.

Problem

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental condition that is caused by experiencing trauma, which is defined as a shocking and dangerous event in which one’s life is perceived to be in jeopardy. Some examples of trauma include sexual assault, child abuse, and combat. PTSD causes symptoms that can be very disruptive to an individual’s daily life including but not limited to nightmares, anxiety disorders, insomnia, and flashbacks. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, 1 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women will experience PTSD at some point in their lifetime.

Target Audience

According to the US Department for Veteran Affairs, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men will experience PTSD at some point during their lives. Symple is designed for any individual who is currently struggling with PTSD, with a specific emphasis on individuals in the age range of 20 - 35 years old. During this age range, people tend to encounter a lot of change in their lives. Change can create stress, which can often trigger symptoms for the first time, even if they’ve been dormant for months or years.

Design Strategy

SYMPLE enables individuals with PTSD to do three key things: anticipate their symptoms, track their symptoms over time, and manage their symptoms as they occur in real-time.





Anticipate Symptoms

Symple allows individuals to monitor unique risk factors such as isolation, inactivity, and fatigue, and it suggests actions they can take to reduce their risk of experiencing a PTSD symptom. The app shows the user how much each action will reduce their risk by, enabling them to make informed decisions about how they choose to deal with their symptom risk.






Track Symptoms Over Time

Symple also allows individuals to document their symptoms’ frequency and severity over time, enabling them to observe patterns and be encouraged by their progress as they continue to learn about how to recognize and manage their symptoms.












Manage Symptoms in Real Time

Symple’s final feature is it’s symptom management function. If the user is experiencing a symptom, they can manually or automatically be taken into the symptom management flow. The app takes them through a sequence which asks them a few simple questions about their symptom(s), and provides them with some customized coping mechanisms to help them get through the episode.

Why it Matters

Symple acts as an affordable, accessible first step for individuals to begin learning about their PTSD symptoms. Ideally it can be used in conjunction with professional therapy, but since therapy services aren’t affordable for many individuals, it serves as a way to provide individuals with personal agency by giving them access to their own mental health data. The app enables individuals to move from simply reacting to their symptoms to understanding, mitigating, and eventually managing their symptoms in a way that is sustainable and empowering.

Next Project