Latest on Epilepsy

17-09-2014 | New alarm system to launch later this month

17 September 2014
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PulseGuard ™ is a new alarm system developed by the Perry family in the UK for their son Tom, who has severe epilepsy. It monitors and detects any rise and fall in the heart rate and if the heart rate goes outside the parameters set, an alarm is triggered. PulseGuard was inspired when, one morning in 2012, Adrian and Sue Perry were reviewing the previous night's video footage of Tom's seizure activity and realized the monitoring had missed a significant seizure.

Tom suffers from Dravet Syndrome and generally has his seizures in sleep. Sue and Adrian have a seizure alarm under Tom's mattress that detects movements during a tonic clonic seizure and an audible monitor to detect any gasps or noises during a seizure. They also have a CCTV camera above his bed that activates recording during any movement so that they can review the previous night's seizures, if any. However, it was during playback of recorded footage that they discovered that quite a prolonged seizure that occurred during the night was missed. Tom's movements were not enough to activate the under mattress alarm and he had his face buried in his pillow so no noise was picked up.

This was a concern because Tom is at high risk of SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) and needs to be monitored carefully. Realising they required a better system to safeguard Tom they started to research alarms to see if a better system existed that would give a warning if the same situation ever arose again. They discovered that there was no system on the market that could accurately detect the onset of a seizure in Tom so they decided to try and design their own.

They looked for one constant condition that existed when Tom had any kind of seizure and they remembered from a previous conversation with Tom's consultant after he had had a telemetry EEG, where she explained that when Tom had a seizure his heart rate increased dramatically and was like that of running a marathon.

Sue and Adrian decided to try and create a system that would detect Tom's heart rate and transmit it wirelessly to a device that would monitor and provide an alarm if Tom's heart rate increased or decreased, so that they would not only be alerted if Tom was having a seizure but also be given peace of mind in early detection of SUDEP.

At this point they started to develop an app for Apple with the help from an American Neuroscientist, who was interested in the project and wanted to help develop it. Later, their son Chris, an IT Engineer, took over the final modifications to the App and their daughter Kate an Emergency Medical Technician in the Ambulance Service also came on board to help with the research and development and complete the team that makes up the family company Adris.

After extensive research they settled on the current sensor device that straps to Toms ankle or wrist and works by shining a light in to his skin that monitors the blood flow through the capillaries giving an extremely accurate heart rate indication which is then sent to the iPad app via Bluetooth technology.

The family found that PulseGuard had successfully alerted on every one of Tom's seizures with none missed and whilst talking to professionals and parents, it was clear that a lot of other people were interested in the alarm system. They set up Adris Technologies, a family run business, to develop and market the system so that others can benefit from this technology.

Pulseguard is due to launch in the UK on 22nd September 2014, for more information, visit www.Adristechnologies.com

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