Early statistics show text reminders helpful to epilepsy patients

Statistics from a UK program show that regular text messaging can help patients control their epilepsy better and reduce seizures. The service numbers are small--only about 50 patients participate--but it has been ongoing for more than a year. Preliminary stats find that patients are adhering better to their medication regimens, take better care of their health generally, and have greater satisfaction with hospital services.

"We are continuing to collect feedback from people using this service and it is beginning to become clear that improvements in adherence are resulting in better seizure control and less use of emergency medical services for some. We hope to get a clearer idea of the scale of these benefits later in the year," said Anthony Linklater, one of the hospital's epilepsy specialist nurses. Hospital officials say they're looking for more funding to expand the service, as well as add an electronic diary function to the program.

It's the latest in a spate of epilepsy mHealth moves this year. Epilepsy advocacy site Epilepsy.com enabled its online MyEpilepsyDiary service for Android devices in January, and the popular Seizure Tracker diary product added new mobile functions for tracking diet and activities, plus a new video feature for recording seizure symptoms.

Epilepsy.com also forecast two new remote health products coming on the market this year--a mattress pad, EmFit, with sensors that can detect unusual movements and trigger an alarm during a seizure; and SmartWatch, which can sense unusual body movements, and text the patient's caregiver with an alert about a possible seizure.

For more info:
- read this National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery announcement
- check out this Epilepsy.com post
- read this Medical Marketing & Media piece from January