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New epilepsy technology

mri scan

New innovative software has been developed by Poole Hospital, as part of a consortium of providers, to help patients with epilepsy and medical staff monitor their condition more easily.

myCareCentric Epilepsy is a smart phone app that works with existing wearable technology and links to the patient’s medical record. It has been piloted at Poole Hospital and due to the success of this trial, it is now being expanded to larger groups of patients.

Epilepsy affects around 600,000 people in the UK and patients often have to visit hospital many times for tests and consultant appointments to discuss and amend their treatment. A seizure happens when there is a sudden burst of intense electrical activity in the brain and can affect a patient’s short term memory making it difficult for them to recall details about the seizure when asked.

Patients using myCareCentric Epilepsy wear a Microsoft wristband that daily monitors their general health as well as vitals during a seizure and feeds back real time data to their consultant, via a smartphone app. The data collected includes sleep patterns, exercise, heart rate, temperature and sweat levels and can be used to identify when a seizure is taking place.

Building a bigger picture of someone’s seizures over a prolonged period means consultants are able to identify potential indicators or factors that cause them and tailor their treatment to match this. Medical staff can also provide timely guidance and support to patients via the app rather than waiting for their next appointment. 

“This project is all about delivering better care for patients”, said Dr Rupert Page, consultant neurologist and clinical lead for epilepsy at Poole Hospital.  “It enables us to focus resources on those patients who need support as close as possible to their time and point of need.”

“We can see important information at a glance, releasing more time to care.” he added. “This technology helps us understand how epilepsy affects the individual, as well as giving us a better understanding of the nature of their seizures and impact of treatment.  It also means that we can more easily provide expert advice and support to the patient on a timely basis.”

The tehnology is being further developed to incorporate an alert system that can notify medical staff, friends and family when a seizure has occurred. It will also be able to identify if a patient is at risk of increased seizures in the future based on existing data.

The software has been developed by the Epilepsy Care Alliance, a consortium which is led by healthcare software specialist Shearwater Systems and includes Graphnet Health, Poole Hospital and the University of Kent.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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