The Epilepsy Foundation’s Shark Tank competition seeks to advance innovative ideas in epilepsy and seizure treatment and care. The winners will use their prize to accelerate their innovation to the next phase of development and closer to being accessible to people living with epilepsy.
In total, 65 individuals or teams entered the “Shark Tank” competition from across the U.S. and 13 countries around the world.
$150,000 Winner - Instant EEG
Presented by Aswin Gunasekar, founder of Zeto Inc.
Electroencephalography, or EEG, is the most common and important test for diagnosing epilepsy because it records electrical activity of the brain. Instant EEG is a technology designed to make this test more convenient, easy to use, and accessible.
Clinical EEG is just as arduous to do today as it was first performed in 1924. A trained technician measures the head, sorts through hair, marks electrode locations, abrades the skin, and applies paste and electrodes to the scalp, eventually tethering the patient to a box with wires. The procedure requires time, technicians who need to be perpetually on-call, and valuable space for storing the equipment. The scarcity of technicians compounds the problem, making EEG unfeasible in many emergency departments, hospitals, and other outpatient settings. Essential features, such as easy data sharing and remote interpretation, remain unavailable.
Zeto’s Instant EEG Platform (zEEG) provides a comfortable, wireless, dry-electrode headset that can be used to perform a routine or urgent EEG anywhere without the need for a technician. Data is immediately streamed to a secure cloud platform enabling remote interpretation. zEEG also provides physicians with tools for data analysis and a mobile app for patients for remote monitoring and active disease management. zEEG will provide more functionality than systems used for routine EEG at hospitals in an easy to use fashion at a competitive price.
$50,000 Winner - M-Kifafa
Presented by Rosemary Gathara, program coordinator for the Kenya Association for the Welfare of People with Epilepsy
M-Kifafa is mobile technology designed to increase epilepsy awareness in Kenya, where 800,000 people currently suffer from epilepsy and fewer than 20% have been identified, diagnosed, and treated.
Kifafa is the Swahili word for seizures or epilepsy. The service platform is designed to send users information about epilepsy and directions to community based epilepsy care. Users dial *215# on their mobile phone and select the information option they require. The objective is to have accurate information about epilepsy available to remove stigma from misinformation and increase access to treatment services. The platform is accessed using a feature phone (not a smart phone) and the user receives the information via text messages. The platform also supports treatment compliance reminders to patients and caregivers. Each health facility signed up gets a dashboard on their computer where they can create messages specific to their patients, including next appointment, support group meetings, or drug dosage reminders.
Other finalists competing this year, who each won a prize of $5,000, were:
- #EpiBear presented by Emily Hoover, a teenager with epilepsy - a teddy bear that provides comfort to children with epilepsy
- IR Hat presented by Jason Hancock, Impact Reduction Technologies Inc. - impact resistant technology that makes life a bit safer for those who have epilepsy
- EpiNightNurse presented by Tamara and Joachim Coche, parents of a son with epilepsy - an Internet-based system for nightly video and audio monitoring of people with epilepsy
- Mobile micro-groups and semantic enabled self management presented by Abbas Hasan, COO of Pearson’s - a tool to get people talking about their epilepsy and to provide personalized support to help them better self-manage
Watch the Winners' Speeches and Check Presentations