SFI centre signs deal to make monitoring of epilepsy much simpler

Affecting more than 50m people worldwide, epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain characterised by recurrent seizures.

These seizure episodes are the result of excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells and can vary from the briefest lapses of attention or muscle jerks, to severe and prolonged convulsions.

This requires a person living with epilepsy to monitor any such events, and now a new development could make this process easier for those living in Ireland.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre FutureNeuro – based in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) – has announced a partnership with cloud solution provider Ergo to improve the country’s e-health infrastructure.

The research will provide a voice-based user interface for an existing epilepsy patient portal, allowing people to co-author their own electronic patient record. This allows for real-time reporting of health information using the patient’s voice, making it easier and more useful for clinicians and patients.

‘On the path to a true patient-centric approach’

Another major benefit of the system is that it will provide great data for future clinical trials on epilepsy and other related research. “Conditions like epilepsy currently rely on patient history to characterise events, which is subject to patient recall and accurate disclosure,” said Mary Fitzsimons, collaborator at FutureNeuro and director of the Epilepsy eHealth Lighthouse Project at RCSI.

“Real-time reporting of patient seizure information and activities of daily living provides a wealth of clinical information that can inform management by analysis of data over an extended monitoring period.”

Ergo director Derek Kehoe welcomed the partnership, saying: “This is another step on the path to a true patient-centric approach, allowing them to interact with technology though voice to support their long-term care.

“We have successfully delivered on the Lighthouse projects to date, allowing patients to interact with their records. This represents another opportunity to deliver on the potential of eHealth in Ireland.”

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