New smartphone apps to help detect seizures, treat strokes

Feb 21 2014, 18:33 IST
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Two new smartphone applications, one of which was tested in India and Nepal, may help people detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment. Reuters Two new smartphone applications, one of which was tested in India and Nepal, may help people detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment. Reuters
SummaryThis app will help health professionals evaluate and make the diagnosis...

Two new smartphone applications, one of which was tested in India and Nepal, may help people detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment, according to new research.

In the first study, an epilepsy app was designed to help non-doctors determine if a person is having an epileptic seizure.

"It can often be difficult to determine whether someone is having an epileptic seizure," said study author Victor Patterson, a neurologist from Belfast, UK.

"This app will help health professionals evaluate and make the diagnosis, especially when doctors are not available," said Patterson.

To create the app, the researchers asked 67 people questions about their seizures. The most helpful questions/answers for predicting an epileptic seizure were then used to create an app.

The app was then tested on 132 people in India and Nepal and the results were compared to the diagnosis from a doctor.

The app was informative in 87 per cent of people studied and agreed with the doctor's diagnosis in 96 per cent of these cases.

For the second study, researchers looked at a stroke app. The app makes it easier and more efficient for doctors to manage care for their acute stroke patients.

"Those who treat acute stroke patients often need to accomplish many tasks simultaneously," said Claude Nguyen, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

"Not only do we need to deliver acute therapies such as intravenous tPA both safely and expeditiously, but also evaluate them for clinical trials, and mobilise appropriate resources towards these goals," said Nguyen.

The author-funded studies will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting.

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