Epilepsy, a chronic neurological disease affecting 50 million people worldwide and one that deeply shapes the day to day lives of those who suffer it.
The word Epilepsy comes from ancient Greece and it translates as “to be seized by surprise”. And it is exactly this element of “surprise” which greatly disrupts the lives of people living with epilepsy. This is specially true for those who do not respond to existing treatments to control seizures, which is an estimated 30% of epilepsy patients. For these patients, simple daily activities can become deadly as they do not know when an epileptic seizure will struck. So we are left with millions of people of all ages and incomes who see their lives completely limited by this growing disease.
Up until now, there has been no way of predicting epileptic seizures, leaving patients at the mercy of the disease. But things are about to change.
MJN Neuroservies (Catalonia, Spain) has developed a solution to assesses the seizure risk thanks to a simple portable medical device – SERAS – that alarms patients before they have an epileptic seizure and stores data on their condition.
But how does SERAS work and why does it have the potential to improve the lives of millions of epilepsy patients?
The device that may change the face of epilepsy is a discreet, non-invasive and portable earpiece that is connected to a mobile App. The earpiece monitors and records the patient’s brain activity while the App takes the information sent by the earpiece. When the App notices a potential seizure, one minute before the seizure actually begins, it sends an alarm to the owner of the device. The person can then get to safety position, preventing accidents and injuries. What is more, the App records and stores the data in a Cloud system, and this data offers benefits on an individual and social level. First, doctors have more accurate information on the individual patient which can then be used for their diagnostic and treatment. Secondly, SERAS provides invaluable data to the research community to better understand this condition.
MJN Neuroserveis is one of the winners of the second societal challenge of d-LAB Transforming the use and governance of personal health data.
The team behind MJN worked closely with d-LAB to come up and design a pilot project that would test and show the benefits of SERAS. For this particular project, they have teamed up with Clinica Corachan, MatSalud and University of Girona to make the pilot a reality.
The objective of the pilot is to demonstrate the ability of SERAS to record epilepsy seizures and to assess its accuracy to predict the risk of a seizure with a warning of few minutes before the seizure.
The pilot has started recently, with the first patients currently testing the solution at the Corachan Clinic.
It is estimated that the development and deployment of the SERAS device could benenit: 3.5 million people in Europe alone. This figure reaches 6 million patients if it is scaled worldwide. And 20 million if everyone suffering from epilepsy is included.
Numbers speak for themselves.