Epilepsy Foundation crowdfunds SAMi, a smartphone-connected epilepsy monitor

By Aditi Pai
08:57 am
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SAMiThe Epilepsy Foundation has launched a device and connected app on Indiegogo, called SAMi, that helps caregivers track family members who have recurring seizures (RS), according to a report over at Medgadget.

As reported on the group's Indiegogo page, more than 37,000 children are diagnosed with RS every year. And at night, it is difficult for caregivers to track whether a seizure occurred.

The SAMi camera is placed in the patient's bedroom and a companion app is used by the caregiver. At night, SAMi records the patient's movements, but only alerts the caregiver of sustained periods of movement. It doesn't alert caregivers of short movements, like when a patient turns over or readjusts. Still, all movements are recorded and the sustained ones are highlighted in red so that the caregiver can go back through the log and refer to all movements during any given night. The camera can record video in darkness. The app must be open for the system to work, it does not run in the background. All recordings are stored on the phone. 

So far, the foundation has delivered more than 70 SAMi systems to the US, Canada, and Australia.

The Epilepsy Foundation has raised $34,845 goal of its $90,000 goal and plans to use the funds to update the camera, create manuals, installation instructions, and an instructional video. It will also use some of the money to buy SAMi devices for people who can't afford to buy them for themselves. The camera is available for preorder for $399 and the estimated shipping date is February 2015.

Those who want to support the program but do not need a camera can still contribute and help fund the development of cameras for those in need. All of those contributions are tax deductible.

In February 2014, Cleveland Clinic released a patient-facing iPad app to help users manage epilepsy. The app, called MyEpilepsy, contains both educational materials and tracking tools for patients. The informational features on the app include epilepsy facts and myths, an explanation of how epilepsy is diagnosed, medical and surgical treatment information, first aid information for seizures, and links out to the Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Center website.

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