An AI system can now offer near-perfect seizure prediction

Big news on the horizon for those with Epilepsy: researchers have just created the world’s first AI epileptic seizure predictor, which can predict a seizure up to one hour before it happens.
Researchers have developed the world's first AI system for predicting Epileptic Seizures.
Research and development is underway for the world’s first AI system for predicting Epileptic Seizures. Photo: Geralt/Pixabay

Those who live with Epilepsy understand all too well the struggle of the disease. With about 12 different types of Epilepsy in the world and about 50 million people with Epilepsy worldwide, research to make the disease more manageable is of the utmost importance.

A league all it’s own

Two researchers out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, named Hisham Daoud and Magdy Bayoumi, have just developed the world’s first AI integrated Epileptic seizure prediction system. Seizures can be detected up to one hour in advance and has been proven to be 99.6% accurate.

There are certain types of Epilepsy that do have some symptoms pre-seizure. Many types of Epilepsy produce no symptoms at all before a seizure occurs. With Tonic-Clonic seizures being the most dangerous of all, technology that is capable of predicting events beforehand may allow the Epileptic time to take preventative medication prior to the seizure occurring. This could prevent the seizure from happening altogether.

If the seizure can’t be entirely prevented, at least the patient can get to a safe place in which to wait it out in private, and potentially have someone there to monitor them through the event. This can sometimes be the difference between life and death, where intervention may be needed to ensure the Epileptic doesn’t choke on their tongue or hurt themselves.

New technology for the prevention and detection of seizures is on the horizon, with promising prototypes in development.
New technology for the prevention and detection of seizures is on the horizon, with promising prototypes in development. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Although there are products in development that are nearly on the market such as a wearable bracelet known as Nightwatch which can predict nocturnal seizures and alert caregivers to the potential nocturnal seizure, which can be the most dangerous sort, there is nothing like this new AI device, which is the most promising development yet in the world of Epilepsy.

The device works by monitoring brain wave activity, much like a mini EEG machine, and also provides a predictive model of sorts. Other devices do one or the other, but not both. This device also works to map continuous brain activity. It learns the patient’s usual brain wave patterns and predicts channels within the brain that are known to ‘light up’ during a seizure.

Not yet ready for the world

The AI device is still in development and does not currently have a set release date, or a price range, despite the fact that every Epileptic patient, family, and caregiver no doubt would pay top dollar to get their hands on one today.

The research and development team working on the prototype are currently developing a chip that works to integrate all of the necessary data and algorithms and have not given any word as to how much longer they have to go before it’s complete.

EEG machine set up to a man
Epilepsy affects some 50-million people worldwide. With new innovations in technology, life expectancy and quality continues to improve. Photo: Flickr | Chris Hope

Life as a caregiver to a child with Epilepsy

As a mother to a toddler with Myoclonic Epilepsy, who has Myoclonic seizures nocturnally, with brain waves that are trending towards Tonic-Clonic or Grand-Mal seizures, this product is something I would give anything to be able to have.

I feel it would better help us to navigate through these difficult and trying years where we are doing all we can to be able to prevent the Mother of all Seizures with medication daily. This device would allow us to be able to predict the worst types of events and give me time to prepare, as well as peace of mind.

I personally cannot wait until it’s released – and I think it’s going to be a game-changer for people worldwide living their lives with unpredictable seizures.

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