Device to Detect Seizures in Patients’ Sleep

Gadgets

A device called NightWatch was created to detect night-time epilepsy seizures / Photo by Kateryna Kon via Shutterstock

 

Seizures are some of the most difficult things to live with, due to their happening almost randomly and the constant need to monitor one's health, sometimes by using a kind of aid. Recently, a new device was developed by a team of scientists from the Netherlands, able to detect up to 85% of all severe night-time epilepsy seizures.

This device was a collaboration between teams of Dutch scientists and may be the key to helping patients suffering from this, as there is no accurate technology on the market to wake people up before seizures kick in when they sleep, sometimes even leading to death. This device, called NightWatch, is strapped to the upper arm of the user and is supposed to measure the user's heart rate and movement while they sleep. It is not intrusive in any way, nor does it restrict certain movements. Although it is still a prototype, the model can be made sleeker and more comfortable given enough time. The team tested the bracelet in 28 intellectually handicapped epilepsy patients with an average of 65 nights per patient. The prototype was only limited to sounding an alarm in the event of a severe seizure. The results show that the bracelet did indeed detect upwards of 85% of serious attacks and 96% of the most severe ones (tonic-clonic seizures), making it quite useful for its accuracy and the fact that it can warn the people around the user if the need arises.

Dr. Johan Arends, a neurologist and the research leader behind this device, says that this device does indeed work and can already be used by a wide variety of adults, both in the hospital and at home. The device was reported to have not caused the patients much discomfort and users' care staff were reportedly positive about the NightWatch bracelet.