As one of the most common neurological disorders, epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide. Patients are significantly affected in their daily activities and emotional life, as recurring seizures are nearly impossible to predict. While medication is the primary method for controlling the seizures, it is estimated that it is effective at around 70% of epilepsy patients, while the remaining 30% may still face the unpredictability of the seizures. Personalized optimized treatment is the right path to treating epilepsy and giving back patients control of their lives. However, in order for doctors to adjust the treatment to the specific needs of the patients, there is a need for an objective seizure logging.Currently this is kept by the patients themselves via a pen & paper (which is highly inaccurate), and it is often underreported.
The shortcomings of the current state are now addressed by a consortium of educational institutions and industry partners in a two-year EIT Health funded initiative, SeizeIT. SeizeIT is a continuation of a Belgium research ICON project, in a consortium led by UCB with participation from the following partners: Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, EPE (CHU Coimbra), IESE Business School (CHRIM), Karolinska Institutet, KU Leuven, Oxford University Hospital – Oxford AHSN, Stockholm Region, RWTH Aachen University, UCB Biosciences GmbH and Universitäts Klinikum Aachen. Participation from additional external partners is also anticipated, including BYTEFLIES NV, Epione bvba, Pilipili, University Hospital Freiburg and King’s College.
The project aims to provide patients and healthcare professionals with continuous remote seizure monitoring to improve management of epilepsy and lead to customized treatment strategies. The result: SeizeIT, the first discrete “wearable” device combining state of the art bio signal measurements and algorithms.
The medical device is a small behind-the-ear device that is worn like a hearing aid and it records a long-term continuous clinical-grade EEG, with the possibility to include additional patch-based sensor modules on the body to measure other bio signals such as electrocardiogram, photoplethysmography, accelerometry and electromyography. SeizeIT2 provides 70-90% accuracy, compared to the accuracy level of less than 50% that is typical for a seizure diary and it offers an improved patient experience.
The wearable seizure detection system would be of high benefit in 3 different ways:
“SeizeIT is a great example of a project team that’s been able to draw on the strength of EIT Health’s network. By bringing these different people together, we are breaking down barriers to health innovation that exists across the continent” – Katharina Ladewig, Managing Director, EIT Health Germany.