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Perspective ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00099

Digital care in epilepsy: a conceptual framework for technological therapies

Rupert Page1,  Rohit Shankar2, 3*, Brendan McLean4,  Jane Hanna5 and Craig Newman6
  • 1Neurology, Poole Hospital, United Kingdom
  • 2Medical School, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 3Neuropsychiatry, Cornwall partnership NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  • 4Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, United Kingdom
  • 5SUDEP Action, United Kingdom
  • 6Plymouth University, United Kingdom

Epilepsy is associated with a significant increase in morbidity and mortality. The likelihood is significantly greater for those patients with specific risk factors. Identifying those at greatest risk of injury and providing expert management from the earliest opportunity is made more challenging by the circumstances in which many such patients present. Despite increasing recognition of the importance of earlier identification of those at risk there is little or no improvement in outcomes over more than 30 years. Despite ever increasing sophistication of drug development and delivery, there has been no meaningful improvement in one-year seizure freedom rates over this time. However, in the last few years there has been an increase in patient-triggered interventions based on automated monitoring of indicators and risk factors facilitated by technological advances. The opportunities such approaches provide will only be realised if accompanied by current working practice changes. Replacing traditional follow-up appointments at arbitrary intervals with dynamic interventions, remotely and at the point and place of need provides a better chance of a substantial reduction in seizures for people with epilepsy. Properly implemented, electronic platforms can offer new opportunities to provide expert advice and management from first presentation thus improving outcomes. This perspective paper provides and proposes an informed critical opinion built on current evidence base of an outline techno-therapeutic approach to harnesses these technologies. This conceptual framework is generic, rather than tied to a specific product or solution and the same generalized approach could be beneficially applied to other long-term conditions.

Keywords: epilepsy tecvhnology, automated epilepsy risk monitoring, electronic health platforms, Mobile apps, EpSMon, Self empowerment, co-production of health records

Received: 01 Dec 2017; Accepted: 12 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Adam Strzelczyk, Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt, Germany

Reviewed by:

Rainer Surges, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, Germany
Johann Philipp Zöllner, Epilepsiezentrum Frankfurt Rhein-Main, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Page, Shankar, McLean, Hanna and Newman. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Rohit Shankar, University of Exeter, Medical School, Exeter, United Kingdom, rohit.shankar@nhs.net