Poole Hospital uses Wearable device to create new Healthcare reality for people with Epilepsy

Poole Hospital uses Wearable device to create new Healthcare reality for people with Epilepsy
10 Aug

The neurology department at Poole Hospital provides services to the whole of the county I was appointed as consultant here; my brief was to set up an epilepsy service

The financial crisis meant that we didn't have anywhere near as much resource as we were originally promised and that led to me starting to think about how we could change our whole process using technology to provide better care for patients with epilepsy We've been using the Microsoft Band with patients with epilepsy in the community and we're using that band to track heart rate, skin conductance, movement so we're measuring everything that's going on with the patient Using machine learning we know when patients are having an epileptic seizure If you imagine a patient who has a seizure at work, and she's concerned about the possibility of having another seizure, if she goes with a wearable device on her and a phone, the wearable device might pick up up that she's having a seizure and the device send a GPS alert to her next of kin contacts You could send a notification to the hospital team that are looking after her seizures and therefore we would make changes to her care

We can provide that advice directly back to her, in real time We're trying to help patients understand themselves better, understand how to manage their condition better and how to best use the Health Service in terms of its limited resources in keeping them well as opposed to treating them once they've fallen off the cliff and become ill We think that there are around 8,000 patients with active epilepsy in Dorset and we would expect around 4,000 of those to be seizure-free, we would hope that there would be an additional 2,000 patients we can potentially render seizure-free using these kinds of technological solutions So, it potentially turns what can be a life altering condition to a much more manageable condition, long term As soon as the programme came up I had to be part of it

The one key thing for me is about being able to have that safety and that support system so that I can actually regain my independence because what tends to happen, particularly if I'm out on my own, is odds-on I'm going to end up in the back of an ambulance or in an A&E I hope to get better control of my seizures and ideally to get that life back that I used to have I do feel excited about the idea that we can do something which meets the needs of patients to actually improve their quality of life, to make differences to their life; it makes it interesting getting out of bed in the morning! This is great example of a new model of care because we've got intense patient engagement, we've got different ways of working amongst the community nursing staff and the hospital staff and it will ultimately help patients look after themselves better

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