In these modern times, there is practically a smartphone app for all aspects of life. Now, new research has detailed two new apps that could help people detect epileptic seizures and receive better treatment for stroke.
The two new studies will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, in April.
For the first study that looks at the creation of the epilepsy app, the research team analyzed 67 people with the condition.
They were asked questions about their seizures, and the researchers used the most useful questions and answers that could predict an epileptic seizure in order to create the app.
The investigators tested the app on 132 individuals with epilepsy in India and Nepal and compared the results with their doctors' diagnoses.
The researchers found that the app was informative in 87% of people, and it complied with doctors' diagnoses in 96% of these cases.
Commenting on the findings, Dr. Victor Patterson, a neurologist from Belfast in the UK and co-author of the study, says:
"It can often be difficult to determine whether someone is having an epileptic seizure. This app will help health professionals evaluate and make the diagnosis, especially when doctors are not available."
Stroke app 'could improve patient care'
For the second study, Dr. Claude Nguyen, of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues created an app they say could enable doctors to provide more effective care for patients who have suffered acute stroke.
Dr. Nguyen says he first thought about a stroke app when he was a fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
He told Medical News Today that as a physician treating acute stroke patients, he needed a tool that would allow him to "accomplish several goals simultaneously." He wanted to be able to treat the patient in a timely manner, treat them within certain benchmarks and evaluate them for eligibility in clinical trials.
"In addition, I often needed to contact research study coordinators or other personnel," he adds. "I created the app as a way to centralize and streamline these seemingly disparate tasks."
Dr. Nguyen said the app is designed to be used in real-time. He explained that a doctor can enter data about a patient, such as symptom onset time, demographics and their score on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Stroke Scale. Using these data, the app can then determine which clinical trials the doctor might consider the patient for.
"The app also has a stopwatch feature to track and record treatment times, a phonebook to allow quick contact of study personnel and access to inclusion/exclusion criteria for clinical trials," he added.
Dr. Nguyen said he believes the app will become widely used for stroke care:
"On the most basic level, the app can be used as a quality assurance and workflow tool to ensure that practitioners are meeting treatment times for acute stroke.
What makes this app novel is that it can help identify patients who are eligible for clinical trials, which is the key toward finding the next stroke treatment."
It seems mobile technology is increasingly being investigated for use in the medical world.
Last year, Medical News Today reported on a study detailing a portable smartphone microscope that is able to detect viruses, while other research reported how smartphone photography could assist with eye disease diagnosis.
Written by Honor Whiteman