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New apps aimed at helping detect epileptic seizures, treat strokes

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New apps aimed at helping detect epileptic seizures, treat strokes
New smartphone apps may help users detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment. After several tests on people in India and Nepal, researchers have developed an epilepsy app that helps non-doctors determine if a person is having an epileptic seizure.

"It can often be difficult to determine whether someone is having an epileptic seizure. This app would help health professionals evaluate and make the diagnosis, especially when doctors are not available," said study author Victor Patterson, a neurologist from Belfast, Britain.

To create the app, the researchers asked 67 people questions about their seizures. The most helpful questions/answers for predicting an epileptic seizure were then used to create an app.

The app was then tested on 132 people in India and Nepal and the results were compared to the diagnosis from a doctor. The app was informative in 87 percent of people studied and agreed with the doctor's diagnosis in 96 percent of these cases.

In another study, researchers looked at a stroke app. The app makes it easier and more efficient for doctors to manage care for their acute stroke patients. Those who treat acute stroke patients often need to accomplish many tasks simultaneously.

"Not only do we need to deliver acute therapies such as intravenous tPA both safely and expeditiously, but also evaluate them for clinical trials, and mobilise appropriate resources toward these goals," explained Claude Nguyen of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Nguyen first formed the idea for the app as a stroke fellow at University of Texas (UT) - brainstorming ways to utilise his passion in technology to improve stroke care.

He built features to help with quality improvement, ease communication and screening for clinical trials. The app is now being used by physicians, nurses and research support staff at UT.

The studies would be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia April 26 - May 3.

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