For some types of epilepsy, seizure alert devices can be helpful in alerting your caregiver that you are having a seizure. This can be especially useful for parents of young children with epilepsy. However, there are no alert devices currently available that are able to prevent or lessen the impact of seizures.
Seizure alert devices are designed to recognize the signs of a seizure and alert a caregiver of the situation. Some devices will detect a seizure by recognizing the repeated shaking movements. These will work best if your typical seizure is characterized as tonic-clonic, or if you experience large enough movements during your seizures. However, seizures that are not accompanied by larger movements, such as absence and many focal or partial seizures, will not be recognized by these kinds of devices.
Depending on the type of device, once it identifies a seizure is occuring, it will alert your caregiver by a phone call, text, alarm, or other such means of notification. This can allow them to assist you during and after your seizure.
The three main types of seizure alert devices available on the market are:
- Watch and phone devices: Able to detect repeated movements, these devices can notify a caregiver of a seizure event by text, sound, or e-mail. Some may be able to alert your caregiver of your location, using GPS tracking technology.
- Mattress devices: Able to detect repeated movements, these devices will sound an alarm if they detect a seizure.
- Camera devices: Able to record video and sound from an infrared camera, these devices send this information to an application that analyzes the recording for seizure activity. If a seizure is suspected, an alarm will sound, and a live video feed will be made available.
Keep in mind that there is no medical alert device currently proven to prevent SUDEP (sudden unexpected death in epilepsy). However, since many instances of SUDEP occur during sleep, having an alert device could help a caregiver to assist you sooner and may result in getting you the help you need more quickly.