One key feature that makes the smartwatch a revolutionary device, that stands apart from the smartphone, is it’s close proximity to the skin when on a wearer’s wrist. This has opened up a new category for all types of beneficial health sensors that are built into smartwatches and available to the general public – potentially helping us to live healthier and fitter lifestyles.
When your project gets backed with $780,000 on Indiegogo you know that you’re onto a winner and that’s exactly what has happened with Empatica’s seizure and stress detecting Embrace smart band. It’s got some very clever people behind the concept as it started out as an MIT Media Lab project.
The aptly named Embrace watch also has some very clever tech as it features the Embrace Alert System, which works with a companion app. This is able to detect the rises and falls in any activity, plus temperature. What this means is that it can monitor when a user is stressed, anxious about their sleep patterns or about to have an epileptic seizure. It’s one of those ideas that makes you want to stand up and give the people involved a round of applause.
What we are going to focus on now is how this revolutionary device can detect an epileptic seizure and the help it then applies for the user. Stage 1 is the event detection. As the Embrace smartwatch is linked to the wearer’s phone via a Bluetooth connection this then allows Empatica’s systems in real-time to analyze and detect events like convulsive seizures. Stage 2 the Alert App will be activated automatically after an event has been detected by the Embrace Watch. An alert notification will then be sent to your caregivers using the phone’s cellular data or Wi-Fi connection. Stage 3 Empatica systems will notify your caregivers one after the other to communicate the alert and ask if they can help. This is done through SMS or an automated call. You can even add multiple caregivers so that potentially there is always someone around to help.
Fundamentally so simple but effective. Empatica states on their website that more people die of SUDEP which is short for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy than people in house fires every year. So we are talking about a potentially life-saving device that can help a huge amount of people.
As you can imagine since it was first announced Empatica has basked in many awards including Epilepsy Shark Tank Judges Choice Award, 2015, Innovation Seal of Excellence Winner, 2015 and MITX Award Best Innovation in Wearables or Connected Device, 2015 to name a few.
Embrace Watches have also been donated, thanks to the supporters of the original campaign and the Epilepsy Foundation of America. These will be getting into the hands of families and children in need of them.
If you would like to get involved and learn more about this groundbreaking project, visit Empatica’s website here.