For over 30% of patients living with epilepsy, medication alone is not enough to control the onset of seizures. Everyday tasks such as driving, going to school or work, or simply going out for a walk can become dangerous if an epileptic experiences a sudden seizure. Now, a start-up company known as Smart Monitor is helping to connect epilepsy patients with their caregivers through the use of its new wearable device, the SmartWatch.
Though not FDA-approved to diagnose seizures, the watch can detect abnormal movements and runs an algorithm to determine if the movements are in line with those of a seizure. The SmartWatch, which is compatible with Android phones through an app, and will be made available for iOS in March 2015, calculates the wearer’s GPS, and sends a text alert to a caregiver if a seizure is suspected. Additionally, the SmartWatch collects data and stores it for use by a patient’s physician. The device is still in clinical trials, but has so far had positive feedback, particularly with parents of patients with epilepsy (currently, roughly 60% of SmartWatch users are children under the age of 21).