The VA Boston Healthcare System will launch a pilot using the Basis Peak wearable. The wristworn device will be used to evaluate the effect of a drug on veterans' sleep habits.
San Francisco-based Basis, which was acquired by Intel last year, is donating 1,000 Basis devices to the Boston VA, some of which will be used for the sleep study, and others of which will be used for the VA's Move! weight management program.
"This donation represents a long-standing relationship between Basis and the VA, having collaborated with local San Francisco researchers on sleep research, and we look forward to offering future support to the organization," Jef Holove, general manager of Basis, said in a statement.
The sleep study will be aimed at veterans with difficulty sleeping related to PTSD nightmares. The Basis Peak will be used to evaluate sleep patterns of these patients before, during and after the introduction of prazosin, a drug that's been shown in past studies to help with PTSD-related sleep loss. Researchers will track "nightly changes in overall sleep quantity and quality, as well as light, deep and REM staging over an extended period of time" and the devices could be used later on in further PTSD studies.
The devices used in the weight management program will be used with the VA's rowing team, stress reduction yoga courses, and other activities. The Basis Peak tracks steps, automatically detects different kinds of activity, and supports continuous heart rate monitoring.
"The Basis fitness tracker has helped Move! program veterans to be more aware of the calories they are burning, given them greater insight into their overall activity levels and sleep quality, and helped them stay on track with the goals they set for themselves," Karen Harnois, Move! Coordinator, said in a statement. "It has encouraged a group of veterans to further improve their health and keep them engaged in healthy lifestyle changes."
Basis is donating the devices this month in connection with National Military Appreciation Month. Additionally, the company is donating $10 of every Basis Peak purchase during the month of May to Veterans of Foreign Wars.