The Apple Watch App For Seizures May Predict Their Onset

Posted July 25th 2016


via Fast Company

EpiWatch, from the user’s perspective anyway, is a pretty simple app. Since people with epilepsy lose some degree of awareness, or else pass out completely, during a seizure, the app asks questions of the Watch wearer to find their awareness level. Rapid heart rate and convulsive body movements are also markers, so the app uses the Watch’s sensors to detect those things too.

At the beginning of a seizure, when the patient feels an aura, they tap the lightning bolt icon (or “complication”) to start the app. This immediately activates the Watch’s sensors, which begin collecting heart rate and body movement data. EpiWatch uses a combination of (subjective) patient response data and (objective) sensor data to detect and measure a seizure.

The end game for EpiWatch is to increase the quality of life for people living with epilepsy. Part of that is just taking some of the anxiety out of dealing with seizures. High numbers of epileptics suffer from depression and anxiety—partly the result of biochemical reactions related to the disease itself, and partly from “situational” things like seizure fear.