New device helps detect deadly epileptic seizures more quickly

1 in every 26 people in US suffers from epilepsy

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - A local medical device company has designed a new product to detect potentially deadly epileptic seizures more quickly. 

The company Brain Sentinel created SeizureLink Alerting System to prevent episodes from becoming fatal. 

"There is an electron that is not invasive that you snap into the device. Then, you place it into your bicep," Jeffrey Jung, vice president of marketing and reimbursement for Brain Sentinel, said. 

The device could soon be saving lives via Bluetooth. 

"That goes off. There's a phone app alarm and caregiver goes off. It also has her GPS coordinates," Jung said.

The device is intended to be the shortest link between a seizure occurring and help arriving. 

"We are actually measuring a muscle signal on the biceps, and that is measuring a signal that is coming from the brain, which controls the convulsive events that causes the shaking and the movement as well as just the tenseness that happens at the beginning of the seizure. So we are able to determine that tenseness or what's also known as tonic phase of the tonic seizures, the first part. There's no other technology on the market that can detect that," Jung said. 

With one in every 26 people in the U.S. suffering from epilepsy, officials with the local chapter of the Epilepsy Foundation said this won’t just help patients, but those who care for them, too.  

"People who have epilepsy -- or their caregivers -- really live with a certain amount of uncertainty because they don't know when the next seizure is going to strike," Kathleen Kraemer, social services coordinator at the Epilepsy Foundation Central and South Texas, said. 

"We are finalizing our testing of our system with families. We plan to launch this fall in September-October. It will be available without a prescription," Jung said. 

There are four things that make SeizureLink unique according to Jung:

  1. The alert is the fastest, alerting on average in nine seconds.
  2. The false alarm rate is low, with less than five a week. 
  3. When an alert happens, the caregiver gets a phone call and the caregiver’s app screen changes to flashing red.
  4. The button on the SeizureLink device has a button that allows the wearer (referred to as "heroes") to call for help and to cancel a false alarm.

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