Dutch scientists have created the Nightwatch, a smart bracelet that monitors heart rate and movement of the user. In the case that the device will notice increased activity and reduction of muscles characteristic of epileptic seizure, the indicator light will turn red, and the bracelet itself will be able to report the attack to the medical staff.
This was reported in the journal Neurology.
The publication presents the results of the first study.
Repetitive seizures often occur when exposed to certain external and internal factors. For example, it is well known that the attack may be a touch to occur from exposure to bright flashing lights. In addition, epileptic seizures may accompany menstruation, as well as to synchronize with the cycles of sleep and wakefulness. In the latter case, the seizures often occur during sleep: to control them can be difficult, and to prevent the consequences without the use of special (often invasive) devices for monitoring — virtually impossible.
Especially to scientists from the University medical center Utrecht under the leadership of Johan Arends (Arends Johan) came up with a wearable bracelet, which is worn on the forearm of the patient and monitors two main indicators characteristic of epileptic seizures: elevated heart rate and irregular contraction of the muscles. Upon receipt of a signal from both of these indicators led color on the bracelet changes, but it also sends the audio signal to health workers.
The effectiveness of the bracelet tested on 28 patients with epilepsy: everyone wore the bracelet at least 65 nights. Scientists analyzed data about 1826 the night, which was 809 attacks. For additional control, participants were also videotaped during sleep, which allowed to calculate the percentage of false-positive and false-negative signals.
The bracelet has correctly recognized the attacks in 85 percent of cases, and about the most serious seizures, tonic-clonic, was able to report in 96 percent of cases.
Scientists hope that the use of the gadget will not only improve and simplify the monitoring of epileptic attacks, but also can reduce the number of sudden deaths due to epilepsy, which often occur with seizures during sleep. According to their estimates, the use of Nightwatch will reduce the number of deaths by two-thirds.