Seer Medical – an Australian-based technology start-up specializing in data analysis for epilepsy – has teamed up with in Professor Mark Cook – the Director of the Neurology at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia – to create a device to predict seizures, the Epi-Minder.
The Epi-Minder is an implant, which is inserted on the inside of the scalp and constantly monitors brain activity and detects patterns to predict seizures.
Professor Cook first developed the Epi-Minder in 2003 but the prototype was not considered a viable medical solution until now due to the amount of data from the device needing to be processed. After Professor Cook teamed up with Cochlear to create the Epi-Minder, he partnered with Seer Medical in April 2021 to distil the data into patterns.
Once a person has the Epi-Minder implant and the external device, data of their seizure activity data goes from the Epi-Minder through Bluetooth to their phone, after which it goes to the Cloud. The person would have their phone with them at all times so that data can be transmitted constantly.
A machine created by Seer Medical sorts through and detects all seizure activity data from the Epi-Minder, some of which can be very brief, lasting even only a few milliseconds in length. Once all of the electrical events associated with seizure activity are collected, patterns can be found, after which a forecasting algorithm can be created.
As many people with epilepsy may not know when their next seizure can occur, this can be debilitating and may prevent them from doing things like working or taking care of their children, among others.
This is why the Epi-Minder will have access to an app with a calendar that will report to people the days when they are likely to have a seizure so that they can get their independence back.
Having the ability to predict when a seizure may occur will improve the quality of life for those living with epilepsy. People may be able to better plan vacations, holidays, special events and exams at school, among many others, which can lead to increased quality of life.
For more information on the Epi-Minder, please check out the news article in The Weekend Australian here.