I would like to know, is it possible for a smartphone attached to an arm to catch an epileptic seizure by using the heartbeat or other sensor and automating a phone call or sms when the seizure occurs based on the blood rate? If not, then can this be done by attaching a brain scan helmet our hat accessory connected via Bluetooth to the mobile phone?



Oh my, a question targeting my hardware experience AND my more than passing interest in cognitive science!

I have a friend who is currently dying from Muscular Dystrophy. In the end stage of this disease, he is barely able to move any part of his body. He and I investigated several consumer-grade EEG devices as a means of him controlling computers (none ended up working for him as well as voice command). In the course of that investigation, we initially rejected the NeuroSky MindWave Headset, but I am returning to it now as an ideal solution to your problem.

While it has a pretty crappy sensor configuration, it is my understanding that seizures are large events which any EEG machine should be able to detect relatively easily. The upside to this machine is that it is cheap and relatively unobtrusive compared to other available brands. Moreover, this device is able to interface with mobile devices via bluetooth and does have a developer's kit app for Android available for purchase. I'm not going to go into how you solve the software side of this problem, because this is a hardware recommendation only (as befits the site), but I trust since you are inquiring you'll know where to go from here.

  • Thank you so much. I would love to know about the approaches to muscular dystrophy though. If I can do something about it please let me know (I myself cannot move my body as naturally as other people). Also, if you have some time, please let me know what you have tried, what worked out, and what did not. Thanks a lot. Aug 5 '16 at 17:05
  • Why did you reject the device for epilepsy and what can be done about muscular dystrophy? Thanks. Aug 5 '16 at 17:07
  • 1
    We tried EEG for direct brain control. We also looked at eye tracking, hand/finger tracking using LeapMotion, and Voice control. My friend did some of his own investigation of this sort into custom controllers, but I personally don't think there's a whole lot of promise there unless you are willing to hack stuff together yourself, which my friend really wasn't willing to do or patient enough to have me do for him. Of all that stuff, the LeapMotion and the voice control were the best, with my friend eventually opting for voice control via Dragon's voice control software.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 5 '16 at 19:19
  • 1
    He doesn't have epilepsy, he has late-stage DMD. I think the device would work much better for people with epilepsy. controlling the computer via sensing disturbances in the the electromagnetic field created by the brain's electrochemical activity proved too difficult for him to learn (he is understandably not a very patient fellow). The approach also has several difficulties to overcome - you have to have a very good contact on your skin for the sensors to be fine-tuned, and you have to tune the device to ignore the stronger electrical field that your head muscles create when they flex.
    – Adam Wykes
    Aug 5 '16 at 19:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.