Health IT

Wearables Sweet Sixteen: A device to evaluate gait vs. seizure alert and tracker

BioSensicsMotionSensor-SmallThis wearables matchup includes a design company and a medical device producer that approach their patient populations in two different ways. Biosensics’ LegSys device is made for evaluating the way patients walk to give a better sense of where they are in the development of their condition or recovery to deliver more targeted care. Artefact’s Dialog seizure alert and tracker looks like a watch but it’s designed to be activated in the runup to or during an epileptic seizure. It’s not only active in alerting users to call for help but it also actively and passively collects information to give wearers a better sense of potential triggers for their episodes.

One important point is that Artefact’s device is still in the development phase and Biosensics is currently available on its website.

Both use a companion app to help evaluate the data their sensors generate. Although I thought LegSys would be particularly useful for Parkinson’s disease patients, that’s not yet as prominent a use case as people with diabetic neuropathy who have a very real concern over falling. It also has applications for physical therapy, stroke recovery and other areas. It only takes five minutes to use and with three to five sensors generates information on stride, speed, cadence and stance.

Dialog has a more subtle design than Biosensics’ harness but then it is designed to be far more mobile and unintrusive. Wears can trigger it when they feel a seizure coming on. They can contact emergency services. It uses the information gathered from previous events to alert users and caregivers to get to a safe setting to prepare for a seizure. There are 65 million people with epilepsy, 3 million in the U.S. It also causes up to 50,000 deaths occur annually from prolonged seizures too seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.

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Winner: Artefact Dialog

Why? What makes Dialog’s device so intriguing is it responds to an inadequately addressed need and has so much potential to influence the development of other biometric tracking and alert devices.

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