Blog Tag: monitoring
Seizure-Detecting Smart Watch Given FDA Approval
The FDA has recently approved Embrace, a smart watch designed to monitor epileptic patients for seizures, according to a press release. According to the press release, the device uses machine learning to monitor patients for dangerous seizures, including grand mal or generalized tonic-clonic seizures. These seizures cause loss of consciousness and can cause a state of confusion in patients for periods of time after they finish. Embrace is said to allow medical professionals to gain information about when seizures happen with higher accuracy than was previously available and can also alert caregivers when patients are having seizures. During a seizure, the watch vibrates, LEDs light up, and an alert is sent via Bluetooth to the patient’s smartphone. An app on the phone can then send a distress signal via text or phone call to one or more caregivers.
The device was previously approved by the European Medical Agency in April 2017. According to articles, the technology was originally developed at MIT in 2007 and was funded by a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2014, which netted the maker, Empatica, more than $800,000. Embrace went on sale shortly after that campaign and has been available commercially but was not previously available as a medical device in the U.S.
The FDA’s approval was reportedly based on a clinical trial of 135 patients over 272 days. Each of the patients had epilepsy and were simultaneously monitored by EEG and using Embrace. The trial recorded over 6500 hours of data, including 40 seizures, which Embrace detected with 100% accuracy.
Matteo Lai, Co-Founder and CEO of Empatica, touted Embrace’s design and functionality, saying “We wanted to design the world’s first medical device that could win a design award, while being used as a lifesaving product.” Embrace is said to be the first smart watch to be approved by the FDA for neurological monitoring.
FDA Approves Prickless Glucose Monitoring System
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced approval of Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system for certain diabetes patients. The glucose monitoring tool will allow patients to monitor their glucose levels the without painful and inconvenient finger pricks of traditional glucose monitoring.
According to an Abbott press release, the FreeStyle Libre system will allow patients to self-apply the sensor (which is about the size of two stacked quarters) to the back of the upper arm and capture real-time glucose readings with painless scans of a small hand-held reader over the scanner. This is in contrast to traditional blood glucose monitoring, which may require some patients to finger stick up to 12 times per day.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 29 million Americans have diabetes. The FreeStyle Libre system, which became available by prescription from most retail pharmacies in the U.S. by the end of 2017, should enable patients to better manage their disease. Healthline reports that the product has been available for several to patients in other areas of the world. Dr. Maria Tulpan of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY commented:
What we see with the FreeStyle Libre system is patients gaining a better understanding of the impact of food, exercise and specific medications on their glucose levels due to availability of the data, which is important in the day-to-day management of diabetes and for behavioral changes towards improved diabetes control.
Abbott states that the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System is based on proprietary technology and lists over 50 U.S. Patents issued to Abbott Diabetes Care, Inc., that is believes are associated with the device. Representative examples include U.S. Patent Nos. 8,889,305, 9,000,929, and 9,014,774.