Sixty million people suffer from epilepsy across the world, and 50 to 100,000 people die in their sleep as a result of epilepsy, according to the CEO, Jeroen van den Hout. To reduce the amount of deaths due to epileptic seizures at night, a group of neurologists in the Netherlands developed the NightWatch, a wireless armband, through a collaboration between Kempenhaeghe and SEIN epilepsy centers, the University Medical Centre (UMC) Utrecht, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Epilepsiefonds (Epilepsy Foundation), and patient representatives. This partnership resulted in a company named LivAssured.
The NightWatch is worn on the upper arm during sleep. It measures the person's heart rate and monitors their movement, and it can detect tonic, tonic-clonic, hyper motor, and clustered myoclonic seizures. Any abnormalities in the heart rate or movement are immediately detected and sent to the base station via an audio and visual alert. The signal can also be forwarded to mobile telephones and call systems as well if the NightWatch wearer lives independently. Up to 5 telephone numbers can be called in the event of an emergency. The wearer can also opt to click the emergency button if they need immediate attention. This base station can be monitored by parents or the caregiver so that the person suffering from an epileptic seizure can be attended to quickly. Data collected by the NightWatch can be analyzed via the NightWatch portal. One can use this portal to understand what occurred during the night and why the signal was sent.
The NightWatch, launched about a year and a half ago, is clinically proven to be effective and a certified medical device. It is proven to detect up to 96% of the most dangerous seizures. Approximately 1000 devices have been sold and have received positive feedback. Currently, it is available only in Europe. For more information, please visit their website.
He graduated from from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Science in industrial engineering and is currently a PhD student at the University of Central Florida while interning with Lockheed Martin MFC in Orlando, FL. He has worked on projects that have included the ergonomic design of power tools, human factors research, and investigating the prevalence effects in transportation. He enjoys long walks on the beach and the search for alligators in the wild.