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Smartphone App to Monitor Epilepsy Patients

Engineers are creating a smartphone system that can monitor the brainwaves of people with epilepsy.

Engineers from Wave Technology Group and medical experts from the University of Chicago Hospital Pediatric Epilepsy Center have joined forces to create a prototype smartphone system that can monitor the brainwaves of individuals with epilepsy and send them from the patient’s phone to a monitoring center, where they can be analyzed.

The goal is that the technology, once developed in full, use the gathered brain wave data to warn the patient of a possible oncoming seizure, allowing the patient time to sit down, pull over a vehicle, or stop operating a machine, for example. Further, software in the smartphone could interpret the compiled data and send a text message based on that information to a parent or guardian if needed.

"Making an emergency call for a patient in need is one of those huge unprecedented wins from this technology," said Sam Cinquegrani, CEO, Wave Technology Group. Wave software engineers are collaborating on the project with staffers at the University of Chicago Hospital's Pediatric Epilepsy Center.

And the potential benefits go past the immediate, with the possibility of using the constantly gathered data to compute trends that can help in that patients’ long-term care, as well as the possibility of analyzing the data in helping develop future therapy targets and treatments.

In it’s current, prototype state, the technology consists of a smaller-than-credit-card-size, 16-channel amplifier that sits in a pocket sewn into a hat and is attached by wires to sensors on the patient’s head.

The development teams hopes to begin field testing of the prototype by the end of the year and receive FDA approval by late 2011.

For More:

  • Additional coverage of the story at Computerworld.com
  • Army Survival Manual for iPhone
  • Mobile phones improving health literacy and empowering pregnant women and moms
  • Check out the Medical Smartphones blog
  • Visit the iMedicalApps blog