Challenge: A digital service dog

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From Cleveland, OH, Jeff joined the U.S. military out of high school and was stationed at Arlington National Cemetery in the Honor Guard. He struggles with PTSD and anxiety. 

Every time Jeff goes out in public, he has to explain why he has a service dog, inevitably leading to a conversation about PTSD and his military experience. A U.S. veteran, Jeff has struggled with PTSD for the past decade and hasn’t been able to go out in public with his service dog without being asked about his military trauma and why he needs the support. A team of engineers and programmers created an ingenious solution for him: a smartwatch connected to an app on his phone that together act as a service dog would, detecting an increase in anxiety and then providing a needed distraction through stress-reducing features.