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A new app can warn epilepsy suffers that they are about to have a seizure

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A new app designed by Japanese researchers can warn people suffering from epilepsy that they are about to have a seizure.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the system uses a small sensor, worn near the collarbone or the heart, detects if the user’s heartbeat behaves abnormally. If so, the sensor sends a message to their smartphone, giving them a 30-second warning prior an attack. This will give people the opportunity to prepare for the seizure and avoid potential injury.

After successfully trialing the product in clinical tests involving 60 patients, scientists at Kyoto University, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, who worked together to build the app, say it should be available for use in five years.

The cost, excluding the phone, has been estimated at just over $100.

Epilepsy is a disorder of brain function that causes a person to experience convulsive or non-convulsive seizures.

According to Epilepsy Australia, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder in the world, affecting approximately 230,000 Australians and 50 million people globally.

While many are able to control their seizures with appropriate medications, about 30% of epileptic patients do not have control over their seizures.

Read more here.

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