According to statistics cited by the technology product design company Artefact, about 3 million people in the United States live with epilepsy. Of these, about 50,000 die every year from epilepsy-related causes. The designers at Artefact wanted to come up with a device that could help people with this chronic condition track various factors in an effort to help them control and deal with seizures. The result is the concept design called Dialog.
This is just a concept at this point, but as the company points out, it is designed using components and concepts that are either available or under development today. The watch-sized device can be mounted in a wristband, or it can be attached directly to the user’s skin. Sensors track various metrics such as heart rate, and the device can also deliver information to the user such as reminders to take medications at certain times of the day. In spite of the small size of the energy-saving bi-stable display, it can also be used to input limited data through simple touch motions. For example, a swipe up or down can record the wearer’s mood as happy or sad, and a double-tap can indicate the user’s sense the start of an “aura” that can be an indicator of an approaching seizure. The wearer can also grab the device with a hand and squeeze it during a seizure, which would trigger a summons for help.
The device communicates with a smartphone via Bluetooth, which can log the data throughout each day. This information can then be mined and analyzed to search for correlations that could help the user and healthcare professionals deal with and treat the condition. The Dialog device could also deliver warnings of impending seizures to the wearer and caregivers so that the user can be in a safe place and condition before their onset.