Article published by Science Blog
People with epilepsy could soon get a one-minute warning of an impending seizure with the help of a new medical device.
An epileptic seizure can put a person at risk of injury in everyday situations that most other people take for granted. Often this leads sufferers to avoid common activities such as cycling, swimming or walking up steep inclines.
But wearers of the new device can be reassured that they will get an alert before the onset of a seizure and take necessary precautions. Dr David Blánquez, an engineer, was inspired to invent the earpiece for very personal reasons.
‘We started this project because of my daughter Marina, who has epilepsy,’ Blánquez said.
He had been a robotics researcher but saw the need for people like his daughter to wear a device that could warn them about an approaching convulsion.
The earpiece signals an app on the patient’s mobile phone that a seizure is likely. A family member or caregiver can also be alerted.
The device constantly monitors brain activity using an electroencephalogram, logging key medical information and building up an algorithm that over time gets better at spotting the signs of an impending seizure.