New Mobile App Helps Diagnose Epileptic Seizures

(HealthDay News) — New mobile phone applications can help diagnose episodes of altered consciousness as epileptic seizures and can assist in patient management during acute stroke, according to two studies released in advance of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, which will be held from April 26–May 3 in Philadelphia.

Victor Patterson, MD, a neurologist from Belfast, U.K., and colleagues surveyed 67 patients attending epilepsy clinics in Nepal about their episodes of altered consciousness. A clinical diagnosis of “epileptic seizure” (E) or “not epileptic seizure” (NE) was reached. The likelihood ratio of having E or NE was calculated for each question. The researchers identified 11 questions with a likelihood ratio greater than 3 and included them into a mobile phone app. On validation of the app in 132 patients from two distinct populations in Nepal and India, the app separated E from NE with near-complete reliability. With minimal training, non-doctors were able to use the app.

Claude Nguyen, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues constructed a smartphone app to help practitioners perform multiple tasks during treatment of patients with acute stroke. The app features a hierarchical structure and includes four components: a phone dialer function allows direct access to critical personnel; references for clinical trials and treatment protocol data; a timekeeper function that records benchmark times and updates time windows in realtime; and automatic screening of patients for clinical trial eligibility.

“Those who treat acute stroke patients often need to accomplish many tasks simultaneously,” Nguyen said in a statement.

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