“Wearable technology” is now commonly being used to track people’s activity, sleep-wake cycles, and even heart rate. Those of us who care for people with epilepsy always like to look for ways to use technology to help our patients.
How the Technology Works
The basic technology involves sensors that detect movement, which are found in simple pedometers. Advancing this technology, these movement detectors have become smaller and compact.
Nearly every “smart phone” has the capability to detect movement. Also, independent devices are made that can be worn around the wrist or arm to increase the sensitivity. Any of these devices then can be linked to cellular and/or Wi-Fi technology. By doing this, safety and independence can be improved for people living with epilepsy.
How Wearable Technology Can Help
Imagine if a person wearing one of these devices has a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. The device can detect the motion of the person’s wrist. This movement can then trigger the device to signal a loved one or even call emergency medical services for help. Technology exists to even transmit the specific location of the patient, so help can be provided quickly. This can assist in reassuring family members that the person with epilepsy can be left alone, knowing that someone would be called if a major seizure occurred. Furthermore, these devices can keep a log of the number of seizures and the times that they occur, which can help their doctor make changes to their medications. The possibilities are limitless.
Is a Wearable Technology Device Right for You?
Neither I, nor epilepsy.com, endorses the use of any specific product. However, if you have any comments or questions regarding these types of technology, please feel free to discuss them with others using the Epilepsy Foundation’s social media channels or epilepsy.com’s forums and chat.