Epilepsy Self-Monitoring App named as finalist at HSJ Awards
The Epilepsy-Self Monitoring App has been named as a finalist at the prestigious HSJ Awards in the ‘Patient Safety' and ‘Using Technology to Improve Efficiency’ categories. The App had been shortlisted from around 1600 other entries in the largest celebration of excellence in UK healthcare.
EpSMon was created by a team of partners based at Plymouth University; Cornwall Foundation NHS Trust; Royal Cornwall Hospital and SUDEP Action. EpSMon is a digital version of the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Checklist, a clinical tool designed to help health professionals monitor and discuss their patients’ epilepsy risks and well-being. The Checklist Project was part sponsored by SUDEP Action helped by Kt’s Fund, a community fund set up in memory of Katie Hallet, a 20-year children’s nursing student who died from SUDEP in January 2006.
The awards were announced last night and coincide with the NHS Self Care Week which runs from 16th to 22 November and encourages people to take control of their health throughout their lives. The campaign encourages people to better understand how to look after any long-term conditions they may have.
Launched in July, the App, which has had more than 230 downloads, helps people monitor their own epilepsy by bringing life-saving knowledge to their fingertips. It allows them to assess their risk every three months.
Simon Lees, who has epilepsy commented: "EpSMon is just what I need to monitor my risk in between visits to doctors. It helps me take actions at all times as it measures my own particular risks of epilepsy. It can act as a safety net, being an excellent reminder of the importance of taking medication correctly and seeing my GP on a regular basis."
Speaking after the event, Jane Hanna OBE from SUDEP Action commented: “
“To be recognised as a finalist by the HSJ national award panel helps us get our message out. We hope that anyone with epilepsy has a check that they are seizure free and well. EpSMon is like having a friend who just happens to be an expert on risk in epilepsy. The friend is there whether you need one either because no-one else seems to be able to help or because life is just too busy sometimes to remember about epilepsy. We owe it to Katie and all the other young people who have died to get the message out about EpSMon”
Dr Rohit Shankar, Consultant in Adult Neuropsychiatry at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust commented: “I am delighted to see EpSMon named as a finalist in the Health Service Journal Awards just three months after its launch. The idea of the app was originally explored to help people with a learning difficulty and epilepsy to manage the risks, but with our partners, we have been able to make it available to help everyone with the condition. I am glad the judges have seen the potential of the app to save hundreds of lives across the UK each year.”
Dr Craig Newman from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry said: “We are pleased that not only is this app making a difference to people’s lives, but that it has been recognised for doing so. It is a true team effort.”
There are around 600,000 people with epilepsy in the UK with about 87 people diagnosed with the condition every day. Approximately 1,200 lives are claimed by epilepsy each year in the UK, and research indicates that 42% of these deaths could be preventable.
EpSMon helps people to reduce their risk by asking questions including their last appointment about their epilepsy, information about their seizures and wellbeing. The app analyses the information provided and creates advice which ranges from ‘all clear, no further action required’ to ‘make an appointment with your doctor now’. The app’s analysis can be shown to a GP to help them decide the best treatment regime for their patient and encourages person-centred communication of the key risk issues.
For more information about EpSMon, visit www.epsmon.com
For the full list of HSJ Award Winners and finalists