Epilepsy monitoring app leads the way for NHS70

EpSMon, an app that helps people with epilepsy manage their condition, is one of six projects chosen by the NHS to celebrate digital innovation within healthcare.

Developed by a team of partners including Dr Craig Newman, from the University of Plymouth and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, the app is the subject of a short film on the NHS Choices YouTube channel.

The film, which was funded by NHS England and produced by the NHS Academic Health Science Networks, highlights two users’ perspectives on how it has changed their lives. The app is designed to help people monitor their epilepsy in between their visits to doctors.

EpSMon also contains guidance to help people better understand Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) and the factors which may affect their risk. 

Dr Newman, Senior Research Fellow in the University’s Institute of Translational and Stratified Medicine (ITSMed), is an NHS Innovation Accelerator Fellow and led the app’s development alongside charity SUDEP Action, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Dr Newman said:

“It’s great to see that the app is being widely utilised and given this platform within the NHS, because that’s the whole point of research and digital innovation – making a positive difference to those who need it most.

“The technology has already been adopted as part of the epilepsy commissioning toolkit for use by Clinical Commissioning Groups, and as a team we are so pleased with its success. SUDEP Action was instrumental in identifying a need for such an app, and to think that four years later it’s being used as an exemplar of digital innovation in the NHS is amazing.”

Dr Craig Newman delivering a TEDxTruro lecture. Picture courtesy of Vicky Slater Photography

SUDEP Action

SUDEP Action is the only UK epilepsy charity dedicated to the specialised support and involvement of those bereaved by epilepsy. It is committed to reducing the number of potentially avoidable epilepsy deaths each year, both in the UK and internationally.

Jane Hanna OBE, Chief Executive of SUDEP Action, who founded the charity in 1996 following the sudden death of her partner Alan, aged 27, said:

“We know that awareness and management of risk in epilepsy in the community is extremely neglected. Bereaved families have been waiting 20 years for this information to be available to help people reduce risk. The EpsMon project is funded mainly by bereaved families and particular thanks must go to Kt’s Fund that funded SUDEP Action’s work in the South West following the sudden death of Katie Hallett, a young nurse. We are delighted that bereaved families across the UK are continuing to invest in the project and that EpSMon is free and available for people with android phones.”

EpSMon is available to download free of charge from App store and Google Play now.

For more information visit the SUDEP Action website.

Screenshots of the EpSMon – Epilepsy Self Monitor app

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