Approximately 50 million people suffer from epilepsy, according to data from the World Health Organization. Because seizures can occur at any moment, the condition can be a cause of constant concern for those with the condition. Patients in the midst of a seizure may be in need medical attention.
To help allay that concern, SmartMonitor (San Jose, CA) has developed the SmartWatch—a wristband device that can detect erratic movements associated with grand mal seizures and send alerts within seconds to family members’ and caregivers’ smartphones. The device, which can be worn continuously, tracks the time, intensity, length, and location of seizures and uses Bluetooth to relay that information to a smartphone app. Inadvertently triggered alerts can be cancelled.
The device was recently on display at a Bluetooth 4.0 event demonstrating novel medical and health products in San Francisco.
One of the unique elements to the SmartWatch is that this information can also be shared with physicians, who can use the resulting data to help fine tune epileptic patients’ medications. The technology, which can also track seizure trends over time, is an example of the trend of patients arming themselves with physiological data to improve medical outcomes.
Brian Buntz is the editor-at-large at UBM Canon's medical group. Follow him on Twitter at @brian_buntz.