Epiness™ – A Wearable Device for Predicting Epileptic Seizures

Dr. Oren Shriki of the Department of Cognitive and Brain Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Photo credits: Dani Machlis

Epilepsy is a chronic and debilitating neurological disorder in which the affected patient suffers seizures due to aberrant brain activity. The seizures are not the only discomfort for the patient but can also expose patients to hazardous injuries during seizures.

Up until now, there have been devices or seizure alarms that can record the seizures in real-time and alert the caretakers, but now a breakthrough device has been designed to warn the patients beforehand.

Epiness™ has been designed by the Israeli researchers at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva to detect any upcoming seizure activity, so the patient can be warned ahead of time to avoid any injuries. The fear of impending spontaneous seizures may not sound worrisome to a normal individual, but this fear has made lives miserable for those who have suffered the consequences of the seizures.

Dr. Oren Shriki, its scientific founder at the university’s Brain and Cognitive Science department, said:

“Epileptic seizures expose epilepsy patients to various preventable hazards, including falls, burns, and other injuries. Unfortunately, currently, there are no seizure-predicting devices that can alert patients and allow them to prepare for upcoming seizures. We are therefore very excited that the machine-learning algorithms that we developed enable accurate prediction of impending seizures up to one hour prior to their occurrence. Since we have also shown that our algorithms enable a significant reduction in the number of necessary EEG electrodes, the device we are developing is both accurate and user friendly. We are currently developing a prototype that will be assessed in clinical trials later this year.”

Epiness™ is a wearable device, one of its kind. It can detect an upcoming epileptic seizure approximately 1 hour in advance, giving sufficient time to the patient and the caretakers to ensure patient safety. Epiness is based on a combination of EEG-based monitoring of brain activity and machine-learning algorithms. These algorithms were developed and tested using a large dataset of the EEG recordings of the patients with epilepsy.

Through the electrodes that touch the scalp of the wearer, brain activity is recorded. This way, Epiness can record the brain activity that leads to an epileptic seizure. The warnings are then sent to the user’s smartphone an hour before the onset of a seizure.

How accurate is Epiness?

Epiness’s best prediction performance has shown 97% accuracy, whereas the neat-optimal performance with fewer electrodes showed 95% accuracy.

Dr. Hadar Ron, Chairperson of NeuroHelp, a startup company that was recently founded by BGN Technologies, said:

“Epiness™ is unique in that it can predict an upcoming seizure and allow the patients and their caretakers to take precautionary actions and prevent injuries. It is also the only device that is based on brain activity rather than muscle movements or heart rate. We are confident that Epiness will be a valuable tool in the management of drug-resistant epilepsy.”

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Dr. Arsia Hanif has been a meritorious Healthcare professional with a proven track record throughout her academic life securing first position in her MCAT examination and then, in 2017, she successfully completed her Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery from Dow University of Health Sciences. She has had the opportunity to apply her theoretical knowledge to the real-life scenarios, as a House Officer (HO) serving at Civil Hospital. Whilst working at the Civil Hospital, she discovered that nothing satisfies her more than helping other humans in need and since then has made a commitment to implement her expertise in the field of medicine to cure the sick and regain the state of health and well-being. Being a Doctor is exactly what you’d think it’s like. She is the colleague at work that everyone wants to know but nobody wants to be. If you want to get something done, you approach her – everyone knows that! She is currently studying with Medical Council of Canada and aspires to be a leading Neurologist someday. Alongside, she has taken up medical writing to exercise her skills of delivering comprehensible version of the otherwise difficult medical literature. Her breaks comprise either of swimming, volunteering services at a Medical Camp or spending time with family.


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