Recently, a new smart watch product have came out and drew people’s attentions. It was originally doing fund raise on indiegogo and was 514% funded on January 21, 2015. It’s not just normal smart watch like apple watch to let you check messages and app easier or count your heart beats per minutes and steps you walked everyday; in fact, it can do much more on this part of health monitoring. Team led by Rosalind Picard from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a smart watch called “Embrace”. Because the skin electrodermal activity may reflect some deep changes in the brain, this watch is able to warn the wearer before seizures happens by measuring the change and combining with the data model based on many years of clinical data. In addition, just like all other smart watches, this watch can also collect daily wearer’s body temperature and motion data to assess their physical activity and sleeping quality.
Embrace smart watch. Source: wired.com
This design of watch was inspired by studies on the emotional state of children with autism conducted by Picard team. In that study, they need to measure children wrist’s skin conductance. Picard noted one child’s skin electrical activity emerged a peak. Twenty minutes later, the child appeared a seizure. Pickard said: “When I realized that the bioelectrical wrist can predict seizures, I was shocked.”
When the watch detects a forthcoming epilepsy, it will send a message to the wearer’s a pre-assigned friends or family. Embrace’s appearance looks no different than other smart watches. I think that is a big advantage for those patients who need it since no one wants to be looked abnormal.
That obstruction of this development might be any form of pressure that could possibly cause signal similar to seizures. The greatest challenge to such equipment is the accuracy rate of detection sensitivity and specificity. Those problems may lead to false alarms and miss alarm of epilepsy. But overall embrace is a very promising product. Also, when you order one embrace watch, the company is going to donate one for kids who cannot afford but need it.
NewScientist, Smartwatch detects skin’s electricity to predict seizures