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Student invents "epilepsy alarm" for his grandmother

Shared by Shuyue Zhang on 2018-03-12 10:12

About the solution

“When epilepsy occurs, it is often accompanied with loss of consciousness, and in severe cases it would lead to cardiac arrest and even death. Therefore, an epilepsy monitoring device would be helpful for diagnosis and treatment. And there is no portable epilepsy monitoring device in the market, so we decided to design one.” , said Xu Yin, a junior clinical student from Nanjing Medical School.

The device is triggered by “clenching teeth”, which is a typical symptom of epilepsy. Once the patients’ symptom last by more than 8 seconds, the device will trigger an alarm sound to inform the caregivers. Yin’s group also designed a mobile app to record and manage the patients’ history of occurrence and conditions and enable the caregivers to keep track and share data with doctors.

Xu Yin has grown up at his grandmother’s home. Since childhood, he remembered that her grandmother suffered from epilepsy, which occurred every few months and usually during the night. “Normally, the whole family was asleep when my grandmother had seizures”, Yin recalled. In the early spring of 2017, his grandmother had seizures and Yin was extremely worried that his grandmother would pass away while he was not able to take care of her, being away from home. “What about developing a device to alarm the caregivers when the seizure occur, then they could conduct first-aid properly?” Yin woke up at 2 am and wrote down his initial plan for the epilepsy alarm device.

Yin shared his idea with his classmates and soon a group of five people started designing the device. Yin was responsible for the overall evaluation and coordination of the project, and other group members worked on system solutions, hardware, software, etc. As medical students, they learned circuit design and operation, painted hundreds of sketches and devoted almost all their spare time into designing it. In the summer of 2017, the prototype for the epilepsy alarm device was complete.

The cost of the device is about 70 EUR.

“Although this special present has not yet been given to my grandmother, the device has achieved satisfactory results and we’ve already submitted a patent application”, explained Xu. Recently, Xu and his group members have been busy pitching the epilepsy alarm device to medical device producers, and they hope they could soon bring the innovation into the market.

Adapted from:

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About the author

Xu Yin, born in 1995, currently studying at Nanjing Medical School in China, has developed an epilepsy alarm device for his grandmother, together with his classmates. The device triggers an alarm when “clenching teeth”, a normal symptom of epilepsy, occurs.

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