Nestle has come up with a clever solution for tracking scratching during sleep. There is now an app for the Apple Watch called Itch Tracker. It measures duration of brief scratching occurrences and overall time through out the night.
As someone who has experienced horrible sleep due to itching for over twenty years this Apple Watch App is exciting to come across. In my own case I was able to finally stop the itch and start sleeping better through biohacking and quantified self practices. Eliminating grains and reducing my blood sugar seemed to stop the eczema outbreaks which would occur nightly on the sides of my feet and hands.
In addition to its intended use by individuals to measure their scratching, the Itch Tracker application will be used by scientists to collect and analyze large quantities of data in a form of a study using ResearchKit, which is an open source framework for medical research introduced by Apple. The Itch Tracker application was developed by the innovation team of Nestlé Skin Health SHIELD (Skin Health Investigation, Education, Longevity Development), which is Nestlé Skin Health’s global innovation initiative to advance the future of skin health.
Itch Tracker for Apple Watch users measures how much you scratch during sleep. This is an app using ResearchKit (an open source framework for medical research introduced by Apple) designed for a survey on itch and targets everyone who is interested whether or not he/she is suffering from scratching.
Itch (pruritus) is one of the most common health problems and sometimes seriously impairs your quality of life. It often causes a vicious cycle of itch-scratch. Itch severity is difficult to precisely evaluate. Self-assessment is commonly used but unfortunately lacks objectiveness, especially if itch severity during sleep is evaluated. Itch Tracker is a newly-developed handy method to objectively evaluate your scratching during sleep.
Why should everyone try Itch Tracker?
You might scratch a lot while asleep without realizing it. You can take advantage of Itch Tracker by generally understanding the status of your scratching by an objective method of evaluation.
In this survey, the duration of your scratching while asleep will be measured by your Apple Watch using a newly-developed program for detecting scratching motions, after you answer a questionnaire asking about your background (gender, age, medical history, etc.) and history/status of your itch. The measurement result of scratching time/duration will be shown on the iPhone screen at the end of the survey.
Objective of survey
The objective of this survey is to investigate on potential factors that might affect, or be correlated with, scratching time during sleep. We aim at making the knowledge obtained by this survey serve for developing a better method to evaluate itch severity, which could help develop better treatments for itch in the future.
Who can participate?
Those who have both Apple Watch and iPhone, read/understand the information and agree can participate. Agreement by proxies such as a family member is necessary in case of children or difficulty in reading/understanding. If you find it difficult to wear your Apple Watch during sleep, you should not participate.
Time you need
This is a 2-day survey (1st day: background and bedtime questionnaires and start of scratching measurement while asleep, 2nd day: termination of scratching measurement while asleep and wake-up questionnaire). The questionnaires will take about 10 minutes on the 1st day (background: about 9 minutes, bedtime: about 1 minute) and about 1 minute on the 2nd day. During and after the survey period, you can repeat the process of bedtime questionnaire, measurement of scratching while asleep, and wake-up questionnaire as many times as you like.