Detecting seizures is not always easy. However, technology today can do some amazing things, including recording data regarding seizures thanks to an app called EpiWatch that is available for the Apple Watch. The goal of the app, which was released several years ago, is to help make it easier for people with epilepsy to track seizure data before, during, and after the event. By learning more about a person’s seizures, it’s believed that it could help to detect an episode before it occurs, making it easier for the patient to get somewhere safe and to get help.
How The App Can Help
Many times, doctors will request that their patients record their seizures. Of course, this is difficult and sometimes impossible, particularly when the patient loses consciousness. The app could be a game-changer. It can collect patient data using ResearchKit from Apple.
Gregory Krauss, a professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said, “EpiWatch collects data that helps researchers better understand epilepsy while helping patients keep a more complete history of their seizures. The app also provides helpful tracking of seizures, prescription medication use, and drug side effects—activities that are important in helping patients manage their condition.”
In the United States alone, there are millions of people who are living with epilepsy. Those who have an Apple Watch and who make use of the app can help to improve the understanding that researchers have regarding epilepsy and seizures. This could help them to find better ways to manage the seizures in their patients and better ways for monitoring.
The more data is collected, the better. It’s believed that with enough data, it will be possible to create an app that can detect seizure types and create alerts that will notify the patient and caregivers. The app could also be used to notify emergency services if needed, so the patient can receive medical help. The app has a substantial amount of potential. Not only would it help save lives, but if it can detect seizures before they occur, and it could even help to provide patients with more freedom.
For example, if the patient knows when the seizures could be coming, it gives them more confidence to do things on their own that they wouldn’t do before. In some cases, it would allow people to live on their own.
The EpiWatch app allows users to provide informed consent. The patients can complete surveys, track seizures in real-time, and journal their seizures. They will be prompted to answer daily questions including whether they took their medication, whether they had a seizure, the type of seizure, etc. The application works well for those patients who have an aura that gives them an indication that a seizure is approaching. The aura is something of an early warning sign that some patients have. If they feel this sensation, they or their caregiver can tap the watch to activate the app and start recording. It will record movements and heart rate. The app also features a memory game that the patient can participate in during the seizure to determine their responsiveness at the time, too, which is a unique element.
The app is entirely free to download and use on the watch. Those who have seizures should consider downloading the app to their phone, as it can provide a big benefit to them and their healthcare providers. The more data that is recorded, the sooner it will be for better and more advanced apps to be developed, including those that can detect seizures before they happen.