New Service to Support People with Epilepsy

London, December  10th 2009.

The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery announced today that it is launching a new service to support people with epilepsy.  This innovative service, offered in partnership with iPLATO Healthcare, aims to help the hospital’s patients improve the management of their condition using web and mobile based technology. The service will offer medication support for people with epilepsy with the option of alerts for carers, as well as helping them monitor their overall condition through a web based patient diary.

To start with, Mobile and Internet Support for People with Epilepsy will offer:

Medication Support – will use text messaging to remind patients to take their medication. Patients will be able to choose their level of personalised medication support depending on preference and medical / social need. The most intense medication support will require the patient to confirm that they have taken their medication by reply text that, if not received, will send an alert to their nominated carer.  Medication Support will also support medication changes by reminding people to adjust dosages when planned changes to medication are due to take place.

Patient Diary – aims to assist with recording of essential information for epilepsy monitoring. Using a secure, password protected, web interface patients will have the opportunity to record seizures, injuries and medication profiles if they wish. The web service will also allow them to update some of this information directly via their mobile phone.  Patients will be able to run reports over a specific period and bring this information along to their consultations.

Statement from Professor John Duncan, Professor of Neurology:

“Most individuals with epilepsy have to take medication regularly in order to achieve the best possible control of their seizures but remembering to take medication can be problematic for some. Taking medication accurately can become quite complicated when it is adjusted as this is usually done in gradual steps over a period of time. We hope that the additional support provided by this service will help some people to manage their medication more effectively which could help to improve the control of their epilepsy.”

Statement from Anthony Linklater, Epilepsy Specialist Nurse:

“After a long period of preparation we are excited to be launching this service which we believe will be of great benefit to our patients. We have developed a holistic medication support package using both mobile phone technology and the internet which will support people to manage their medications better. If the service is positively evaluated, we are hopeful that it will grow in scope and sophistication over the next few years.”

“We believe there is a huge need for low cost telehealth services in the United Kingdom and elsewhere” says Tobias Alpsten, CEO iPLATO Healthcare. “We have always struggled with the notion that telehealth should require custom built hardware. By delivering a service to devices that patients already own we dramatically reduce costs, reduce barriers to usage while delivering solid health outcomes”.

Funded by UCB Pharma Ltd and the National Hospital Development Foundation for the next year, this service will be free to epilepsy patients of the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery. Patients can sign up by contacting the Epilepsy Specialist Nurse. Healthcare providers, payers and individuals who are interested in this service (outside the National Hospital) should get in touch with iPLATO Healthcare.

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