According to Young Epilepsy, over 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy with over 40 different seizure types, with 18% being under the age of 251.
That’s a big number of children and young adults who live with this disorder daily. Over the years we have also witnessed significant developments in healthcare technology, with a range of devices now available that can help people to cope with their condition – providing peace of mind to people and their families all over the world.
What is the study?
The NightWatch seizure detection device, designed by Dutch company LivAssured, is just one of those devices available today. This clinically proven medical device provides seizure detection for nocturnal epilepsy and warns caregivers remotely in the event of possible epileptic seizures during sleep. The wearable bracelet measures seizures using sensors for the heart rate and movement. Previous research by the SEIN Kempenhaeghe has shown that the NightWatch has proven to be a reliable sensor in adults2, but what about in children?
Researchers at the PROMISE study wanted to find out just that and, in April 2018, set out to examine the NightWatch in 60 children who have high-risk epilepsy and suffer from nighttime seizures.
“We looked at the efficacy of NightWatch in the home situation and examined the user experiences of parents. We also took stock of the NightWatch’s costs and benefits.”Anouk van Westrhenen a physician-researcher of the PROMISE study.
Results of the study are set to be published in Autumn 2021 but, according to SEIN neurologist Roland Thijs, have so far proven good results from the use of the NightWatch seizure detection device in children, similar to that of adults3.
The NightWatch, a real story.
We spoke to our friend Saskia, a sales specialist at NightWatch who not only has a professional connection but a personal one when it comes to the device. Saskia’s daughter was diagnosed with epilespy 5 years ago and, with only minor seizures taking place, round-the-clock seizure detection did not feel necessary. That was until she suffered a big seizure last year, resulting in a trip to the hospital. Saskia felt it was time to get help detecting her daughter’s seizures, and that is when she discovered NightWatch.
After completing the suitability check required to make sure the NightWatch is suitable, Saskia and her daughter became users of the device.
We asked Saskia how the device has impacted her daughter’s life. Saskia replied “She’s at an age now where she understands what her seizures mean, and after her scary seizure where she ended up in the hospital, she really likes it because of the safety. She can go over to her friends’ houses and stay the night – which gives her back normality. She regularly forgets she’s wearing the NightWatch, and I catch her watching television, and her NightWatch is still on.”
Saskia, who previously worked in the tourism industry, said, “When approaching NightWatch for further information about the product, I loved the company; they were so friendly and helpful. I loved that about them; with my background in tourism, when I saw the opportunity for the sales specialist position, I went for it.”
When we asked if the device had also impacted Saskia’s life, “Absolutely. Peace of mind and reassurance. I am no longer afraid if I miss a seizure during the night. My daughter can sleep in her own bed, which gives independence back to all of us. Everybody gets a much better sleep at night.”
Now working for NightWatch, Saskia feels she can relate closely with parents or anyone who calls in and expresses their stories and concerns. She rarely mentions her personal connection, as the story is about the families and people calling in for guidance in their own circumstances. Still, it helps a lot with her own individual experience as she is in the same situation.
Finally, we asked Saskia what advice she would give to anyone thinking of purchasing the NightWatch?
Saskia said “Firstly, always check if it is suitable for your circumstances, as it is not for every seizure type. Second, it’s a great device to buy. It’s an official medical device and easy to use in epilepsy detection. Because you don’t want to miss the seizure, missing a big seizure is too much of a risk. The NightWatch is important, it gives rest, and everyone can sleep again.”