NightWatch detects nocturnal epileptic seizures

Smart health device NightWatch detects seizures. Epilepsy affects nearly 60 million people worldwide, according to Inserm figures. Behind migraine and dementia, this pathology is the third most common neurological disease. If the symptoms are numerous and vary according to the individual, the most spectacular are the famous seizures that manifest themselves by convulsions, absences or muscle rigidity.

And these epileptic seizures can be particularly dangerous at night, especially if no witnesses are present. It is possible, during a convulsion, to fall and to be injured on the ground. These can be dangerous and potentially fatal.

The Dutch start-up LivAssured has just developed NightWatch. This is a connected armband that accurately measures the heart rate and movements of its wearer during the night.  In case of severe epileptic seizure, the device alerts a family member or caregiver via a signal sent to a wireless base station.

NightWatch detects seizures over the nights

Created by researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Nightwatch is a smart bracelet that helps prevent night-time epileptic seizures. Nightwatch detects 85% of seizures, which is a much better score than the ones currently recorded.

The bracelet is composed of heart rate sensors, but also motion sensors that will search for possible increases in heart rate and jolts. In the same way as the Embrace bracelet, this connected armband is for people with Alzheimer’s disease, parents and healthcare professionals looking for an effective way to be alerted when a nocturnal epileptic seizure occurs.

The optical sensors of the cuff will measure the heart rate of the wearer and an accelerometer will detect rhythmic movements and jerky symptoms of seizures.

An algorithm then analyzes the signals and issues an alert on a base station in the event of a crisis. Caregivers (the device can be associated with nurse call systems) where a family member can intervene and act immediately.

Conclusive results

NightWatch detects various types of seizures: tonic, tonic-clonic.

Clinically proven and developed in accordance with European standards, the solution has been tested thousands of nights in the Dutch institutes of Sein and Kempenhaege with very conclusive results. 85% of crises classified as serious have been detected.

Today, the devices used are sensors that identify the vibrations of the bed. But their effectiveness is lower since they have a sensitivity of 21%, note the researchers. This new tool could save lives.  Since the combination of heart rate and movement has reliably detected a wide range of nocturnal seizures. Other technologies are also in development to know this time when a crisis can occur.

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