Basis, an Intel company, has has donated 1,000 Basis fitness and sleep trackers to the VA Boston Healthcare System (VABHS) in recognition of National Military Appreciation Month, to support programs benefiting local veterans. A portion of the donation will be used in a pilot study run by the VA to track sleep changes in veterans, as well as in VA-supported athletic and activity programs. The trackers, which track heart rate, activity levels, calories burned, and sleep quality and staging, will be used to help veterans gain valuable insights into their overall fitness and sleep regimens and maintain healthy habits.

The VA Boston Healthcare System is using Basis fitness and sleep trackers in a study focused on tracking sleep patterns in veterans suffering from PTSD-related nightmares. The study will look at sleep patterns of these patients before, during, and after the introduction of prazosin, a drug shown in past studies to improve sleep in such patients. The VA Boston Healthcare System will be using Basis trackers in its MOVE! weight management program to support a wide variety of veterans’ activities, including the local VA rowing team as well as stress reduction yoga courses.

Basis both automatically detects sleep and achieves full sleep staging, including light, deep, and REM sleep, according to the manufacturer. Researchers will leverage these metrics to help improve the sleep habits of veterans by tracking nightly changes in overall sleep quantity and quality, as well as light, deep, and REM staging over an extended period of time, using a device that is non-intrusive compared to traditional clinical sleep analysis equipment. There are also plans to expand research into larger PTSD-related studies.

In addition to advanced sleep analysis, Basis fitness and sleep trackers also feature 24/7 heart rate monitoring, and they track steps taken throughout the day as well as automatically detect exercise activities such as walking, running, and biking.

“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. It has encouraged a group of veterans to further improve their health and keep them engaged in healthy lifestyle changes,” says Karen Harnois, RN, BSN, MOVE! coordinator, in a release.

Seamus Lebreton, a USMC veteran who has been using a Basis tracker as part of a VABHS pilot program, says, “Since receiving a Basis tracker, I’ve learned to better understand and track my health and fitness, and have lost over 40 lbs in the past six months, as well as learned to proactively control anxiety by keeping an eye on my heart rate in specific situations. I’m leading a healthier, happier and fuller life thanks to these health and sleep insights.”

Jef Holove, general manager of Basis, says, “At Basis, the ultimate goal behind our products has always been helping people to incorporate better habits into their everyday lives, and we’re extremely happy to be working with the VA to help improve the health and sleep habits of our country’s veterans. 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.”

Through the end of May, Basis has also committed to donating $10 of all sales proceeds of Basis Peak, its newest fitness and sleep tracker, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).