Xconomy Seattle is profiling research by NeuroVista, a Seattle firm that’s trying to develop a device capable of predicting the onset of an epileptic seizure through EEG brainwave monitoring. The firm is still mostly tight lipped about its implantable system, but if the technology produces a viable commercial device, epileptics may finally have the ability to take some measures to reduce the severity of an attack, and take safety measures to prevent accidental trauma.
NeuroVista gathered hundreds of high-resolution EEG readouts from patients who had severe enough epilepsy that they were hospitalized for more than a week and continuously monitored. NeuroVista’s computers mined the massive reams of data to detect statistical abnormalities that can’t be spotted by a neurologist’s eye, and built them into its algorithms. Then comes the engineering challenge. Getting the electrode to be sensitive and durable enough for long-term use, making a telemetry device small enough to be implantable yet with enough battery power to transmit a lot of data, and then having an easy-to-wear receiver that can warn patients of the coming storm.