Organisation: The Royal Melbourne Hospital 

Contact Person: Prof. Patrick Kwan

Contact Email Address: kwanp@unimelb.edu.au 

Abstract

Distinguishing epileptic seizures from non-epileptic events can be clinically challenging and their respective treatments are completely different. The current ‘gold standard’ for diagnosis of epilepsy is resource intensive, requiring inpatient hospitalisation for five days or more with continuous video and electroencephalogram monitoring. For the large number of Victorians experiencing seizures, access to this assessment process is limited and waiting lists are lengthy. Delayed diagnosis and/or inappropriate treatment can result in significant patient and carer stress and delayed positive outcomes. This project involves a partnership with a Melbourne based company NIESM Pty Ltd to develop a hardware and software solution as an innovative diagnostic method for epilepsy. Wireless sensors for specific physiological activities continuously capture seizure-relevant data over days to weeks, to provide timely and conclusive data on seizure activity. The extended data collection will increase the chance of capturing seizure activity beyond the current five-day window. This sensor system is significantly cheaper than the current gold standard method and allows patients to remain in the community during assessment. This innovative technology has the capacity to screen a large number of patients more efficiently and cost-effectively than current methods. It will allow correct diagnosis and facilitate early and appropriate treatment to improve patient outcomes.