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Funding awarded to develop mobile digital records for epilepsy treatment

Poole Hospital’s Dorset Epilepsy Service is spearheading an innovative new approach to improving quality of life and treatment for people with epilepsy.

Working as part of a consortium, the service has been awarded funding from Innovate UK to introduce a new software solution which combines a patient portal, integrated digital records, social networking and data analysis tools.

The solution uses automated sensing and geo-location technologies in smartphones and wearable technology to record and track patient-related information. Information gathered will include textual, visual and audio data, which will be combined with the temporal, spatial and contextual information relevant to the epileptic seizures of a patient.

The aim is that novel clinical pathways, including real-time pre-emptive interventions, will reduce the costs of care and improve the treatment of a life-altering condition. 

The funding for the project - over £720,000 - was awarded to a consortium led by UK healthcare software specialist Shearwater Systems, and including Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Kent, and Graphnet Health. The service will be operated by the Dorset Epilepsy Service at Poole Hospital, which provides care to people with epilepsy from across the county.

As well as financial savings from reductions in hospital activity, expected patient benefits will include improved quality of life, improved management of their condition and well-being, and a reduction in adverse incidents and accidents. For many people with epilepsy, the key to optimal treatment is the provision of expert guidance on how to adjust medication promptly after a seizure has occurred to reduce the likelihood of further episodes, rather than waiting for an appointment. The project aims to empower patients by providing them with a simple, yet secure way to manage their condition with timely expert guidance and support.

Dr. Rupert Page, consultant neurologist and clinical lead for the project said “Having spent a considerable amount of time trying to get this idea airborne, I am delighted that we can launch this project with our partners to further improve care for patients with epilepsy. Not only will it enable new, more efficient ways of providing care, it also delivers it as close as possible to the patient – in their hands.”

Once the technology is complete, the intention is to move it other long term conditions, where similar benefits are anticipated.

Date: 6 November 2014

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For more information contact the communications team on 01202 4423179 or email communications@poole.nhs.uk

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