Life Care Plan, Medical Consultation, Vocational Rehabilitation

Embrace Seizure Detection With Wearable Technology

 March 16, 2017

By  Deborah L Weiner Katz, OTR/L, CCM, CLCP

Embrace is a new, fashionable smart watch…but is style all it achieves?  Nope.  It is an example of wearable technology that can actually save lives. The device allows users to measure stress, epileptic seizures, activity and sleep. Like so many scientific discoveries, its application was discovered while its creators were studying something else.

A decade ago, a research team at MIT’s Media Lab developed a wearable, called the iCalm, designed to measure changes on the surface of the skin that indicate stress. Their original purpose was to use this ability to better understand autism. One participant suffered a seizure, provoking a huge response and shifting focus to epilepsy. The new method of seizure detection became widely used in labs, universities and hospitals.

Meanwhile, the consumer appeal of the watch is undeniable. Whether you have a loved one who is prone to seizures or lead a stressful life yourself, Embrace is both affordable and fashionable. Plus, it saves lives!

Monitoring System

In the absence of emergencies, Embrace is constantly monitoring your physiology. During your commute, while you are exercising, even at night while you are watching TV, it is collecting data. That information is analyzed in real-time, providing instant feedback. Empatica, the company that sells the product, compiles the data and looks for patterns in your daily habits and behavior. The goal is to offer highly personalized insight that will help you understand your day. Who among us can’t stand to benefit from stress reduction?

Alert System

Let’s not forget that Embrace first caught the attention of families with a vested interest in seizure detection. Its capabilities in that regard are responsible for saving lives. Just how does it do that?

The watch is linked to mobile devices via a Bluetooth connection. In turn, Empatica is able to detect any unusual activity in real-time. If an event should occur, an Alert app will notify caregivers using the mobile device’s cellular data or Wi-fi connection. They only need to own a regular cell phone, not a smart phone. Once caregivers are alerted, they will be asked for help. It is recommended that multiple contacts be added so that the automated messages fail to reach one, others will be available as back-up.

The sleek design appeals to one’s fashion sense. Its unobtrusiveness is a relief to those who are accustomed to seizure helmets and wheelchairs. Beyond stress, the Empatica team’s study of Electrodermal activity, or Galvanic skin response, is also breaking ground with findings related to fear, anxiety and positive excitement. It is hard not to get excited when fashion, technology and care management collide!

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