31-08-2015 | Johns Hopkins University to use Apple Watch in Epilepsy Study

'31-08-2015 | Johns Hopkins University to use Apple Watch in Epilepsy Study' image

There have been several developments in wearable seizure detection devices in the recent past with a couple of seizure detection watches coming on to the market since last year. However, the prediction of seizures before the detection phase is still a goal of tech based device developers.

According to the website AppleInsider.com in recent days, another device soon to be evaluated for its potential usefulness is the Apple watch. In its current form the Apple watch has no seizure prediction function but researchers at Johns Hopkins University have partnered with Thread Research to examine the Apple watch and iPhone sensors for a study using iPhone based ResearchKit functions. The hope is this work could lead to improved technology for seizure prediction. 

ResearchKit is available as an iOS based tool that medical researchers can harness to provide more precise results in terms of health related measurements. It has the potential for wider use in healthcare research to obtain larger pools of research participants more quickly. ResearchKit stores data anonymously which is important for participants with concerns about data privacy. The challenge will be for the developers to identify readings that are indicative of seizures in such a way as to mean they are reliable predictive factors. Research Kit will collect heart rate data and accelerometer data from the watch, gyrospcope data from the iPhone and feedback from users to chart a range of biometric measurements during seizures. While certain elements of the sensors in these devices are automated other features require the person to interact which is a challenge the researchers will need to overcome in the context of seizures.