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Epilepsy, a chronic condition involving recurrent and unprovoked seizures, affects over 50 million individuals globally. Characterized by abnormalbrain activity, these seizures affect the daily functioning of individuals, and increase the risk of further physical, mental, and emotional harm.Traditional treatment options such as invasive brain surgery and anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) do not fully prevent the occurrence of epileptic seizures,can remain ineffective for certain individuals, and can lead to severe adverse effects. To reduce the incidence of serious lifestyle complications, weare proposing a novel design for a daily-use wearable that involves biopotential monitoring, seizure prediction, and an automated acute interventionstrategy to reduce the severity of impending epileptic seizure events. The design context entails a specific focus towards adults experiencing tonic-clonic seizures, the most serious type of generalized seizure. Our design is based on the principle that non-invasively stimulating the vagus nerve canhelp to stabilize abnormal brain activity, an approach that is termed non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS). The overall system consists ofthree main components: the Embrace Watch by Empatica, Empatica's App for Embrace, and an nVNS device. Empatica's proprietary, clinicallyvalidated, and FDA-cleared technology and predictive algorithm are integrated into the system to perform the functions of monitoring and predictingpotential epileptic seizures. The nVNS device will generate the appropriate current needed for stimulation of the vagus nerve. The current workinvestigates the feasibility of the nVNS device with respect to internal circuitry, software functionality, and external housing. Validating this portionof the overall design will help establish the validity of this proposed design as a cohesive non-invasive epilepsy management system that reduces thelikelihood of serious lifestyle complications due to epilepsy.

Symposium Date

Fall 12-1-2012


epilepsy, wearable technology, stimulation


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Novel Wearable System to Monitor, Predict, and Acutely Treat Epileptic Seizures