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Family invents alarm to warn of risky seizures

Adrian and Chris Perry, a father and son team have invented an epilepsy app to warn of risky seizures. The potentially life-saving invention has been created to help detect the seizures of 20 year old Tom Perry who suffers with severe epilepsy, after being diagnosed with the rare Dravet Syndrome. The condition has left him with learning difficulties.

Tom has been living with severe seizures since he was a baby and can experience up to 24 in a day. He often has up to four seizures every night which puts him at risk of SUDEP. So his family developed Pulseguard with the help of an American app developer, Idris Technologies.   

Pulsegurad uses a sensor that is worn around the wrist or ankle to monitor blood flow in the capillaries under the skin’s surface. The device records an accurate heart rate reading and raises an alarm if there is any significant change in the heart rate, as is often the case before a seizure. The app alerts Tom’s parents whenever he has a severe seizure. The device also stores information captured by the system which can be shared with health professionals looking after Tom’s condition. Tom has been using Pulse Guard for two years now and the app has predicted all his seizures.  

Jane Hanna OBE of SUDEP Action commented: “This new device may well be a step forward in the search for technology to help families. Changes in heart rate are important to know about and if PULSEGUARD detects pulse stopping as well as an increase, that is an important step forward in alerting to a seizure that might result in fatality. Scientists around the world have been working on improving seizure detection in the community since there has been greater openness on risks of seizures. There remains an urgent research gap on the efficacy of devices and in particular research on devices that actually target SUDEP rather than seizures.  This needs to be a top research priority for all organisations concerned about prevention”.

Source: Kent Online