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Hands-on with Smart Monitor's SmartWatch, the seizure sensing wristwatch

Hands-on with Smart Monitor's SmartWatch, the seizure sensing wristwatch
Michael Gorman
Michael Gorman|@Numeson|April 4, 2012 8:00 PM
Millions of people suffer from epileptic seizures, and the threat of such episodes is a constant concern for those with the condition, their families and caretakers. Smart Monitor knows that the freedom of folks with epilepsy is curtailed by trepidation caused by the unpredictability of seizures, so it's created the SmartWatch. The device is a wristwatch, roughly the size of a WIMM One, that has a GPS module and a proprietary accelerometer/gyroscopic sensor inside to detect the excessive and repeated motions that occur during grand mal seizures. It then records the time, duration and location of the occurrences and sends that information via Bluetooth to the accompanying app on your Android smartphone (an iOS version is in the works). The app tracks and stores the info and automatically calls your designated caretakers to alert them of the seizure, thusly ensuring the safety of the watch wearer. The watch also has physical buttons on the side that allow users to cancel a false alert or manually send one out with a single press.

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Aside from the real-time safety net that comes with wearing the watch, it also provides valuable information to neurologists over the long term. When and where seizures take place is data that those who study and treat epilepsy find useful, and it can be quite difficult for folks to recall such info after a seizure. SmartWatch can give doctors an accurate long term look at a patient's episodic history that they wouldn't be able to obtain otherwise. Because it's a motion detection unit, the device is only for those who suffer from tonic clonic, or grand mal seizures, so it's not a universal seizure detector. However, the company's clinical trials with the device are ongoing, and Smart Monitor will submit it for FDA approval as a tonic clonic seizure sensor later this year.