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Epilepsy monitors sound an alarm or connect to a smartphone if they detect unusual movements, such as seizures. While these monitors can alert caregivers to a seizure, they cannot prevent the seizure from happening.
- Best bed monitor: Emfit Movement Monitor
- Best for a lightweight wearable: Empatica Embrace 2
- Best for adjustable sensitivity: Medpage MP5-BMA Irregular Sleeping Movement Detection Alarm System
- Best for iOS users: SAMi-3
Epilepsy monitors are devices that notify people when a seizure happens. This triggers an alarm so that the individual gets the assistance they need. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, these monitors can be particularly beneficial for children who may have seizures while they are asleep.
The Epilepsy Association Of Western and Central Pennsylvania lists three types of epilepsy monitors: bed monitors, video monitors, and wearables.
These devices usually include a flexible bed sensor that people place on or under a mattress and a monitor with detection software that people can place on a bedside table.
The monitor will trigger an alarm if it detects movement, such as shaking.
Video monitors can look similar to baby monitors. These devices connect to a receiver, smartphone, or tablet. People can place a seizure-detecting camera in the bedroom, facing the bed.
The camera sends audio and visual information to the paired device. Video monitors usually analyze the camera feed and noises to detect movement such as shaking, which triggers an alarm in the paired device.
Wearables, such as watches, can detect repetitive and shaky movements. These wearables can then send an alert to emergency contacts or the company’s helpline.
Some of these wearables also have a help button that people can press if they require help from the company’s helpline.
People may wish to consider several factors before purchasing an epilepsy monitor, such as:
- Price: Epilepsy monitors can be expensive. Some devices may require monthly or yearly subscriptions on top of the initial purchase, which can increase the price.
- Reviews: People may wish to read customer reviews to see whether the device works for their required use.
- Type: There are monitors that people place under their mattress and others that come as a camera or wearables.
- User age: Epilepsy devices are suitable for individuals of any age group. However, devices that can detect lighter movements may be more effective for children.
- Warranty: People should carefully check any warranty and returns policy a company offers. Purchasing a product with a competitive warranty policy means that people can ask the company to fix or replace the product if it stops working.
How we choose products
Medical News Today chooses products that fit the following criteria:
- Type: Products of various types, such as wearables, bed monitors, and video monitors.
- Features: Products that have a range of features, such as WiFi connectivity, long battery life, and ease of use.
- Requirements: Products that fit a range of requirements, such as lightweight options for children and devices suitable for use while traveling.
Below are some of the best seizure monitors available on the market.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Best bed monitor
Emfit states that this bed monitor can detect most movements, including light movements. The company states that this product is also suitable for use with small children.
It consists of a flexible and durable bed sensor, a bedside monitor, bed clip, and a wall bracket. The Movement Monitor detects movement over a preset amount of time and triggers an alarm if a person moves more than it expects.
An advantage of this product is that it is suitable for small children, as the sensor picks up light movements. Additionally, testimonials on the company’s website state that this product gave parents and individuals peace of mind while sleeping, as the alarm sounds when it detects movement.
However, this product is on the higher end of the price scale. Before purchasing, people may wish to consider whether the price and features suit their needs.
Emfit offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a one-year warranty on this device.
At the time of publishing, the Emfit Movement Monitor cost $594.
Best for a lightweight wearable
The Embrace 2 is an FDA-cleared watch that is suitable for adults and children. This product can detect when a person is having a seizure and alert caregivers, even if they do not live close by.
Additional features of this product include:
- more than 48 hours of battery life
- charges in 30 minutes
- weighs 13 grams
- water-resistant up to 3 feet
- Bluetooth connectivity
To use this device, a person will also have to download the companion app, Alert App. People will have to purchase a subscription to the app to receive alerts from the watch. A subscription starts from $9.90 per month.
Some advantages of the Embrace 2 include its water resistance and compatibility with iOS and Android devices. However, a person will need to purchase a subscription to the Alert App in order to use this device.
Empatica offers a 30-day trial for this device and a one-year warranty. If a person resides in the European Union, the company offers a two-year warranty.
At the time of publishing, the Embrace 2 starts at $249.
Best for adjustable sensitivity
Medpage is a United Kingdom-based company that ships this product to the United States.
People can adjust this bed monitor’s sensitivity depending on body weight. The monitor is suitable for adults and children that weigh 55 pounds or more. Additionally, the monitor has a microphone that detects sounds such as vocalizations, groans, and lip smacking.
If the device detects unusual movements or sounds, it sends an alarm to the included bedside monitor. The company states that this product ignores usual sleeping movements, such as turning over in bed.
Advantages of this product include a 24-hour battery backup in the event of power cuts. It is also suitable for all mattress types, including memory foam crib mattresses. However, this bed monitor is only suitable for people who weigh 55 pounds or more, making it unsuitable for infants and smaller children.
Medpage offers a 28-day trial period and a 12-month warranty from the date of delivery. The company also charges for shipping.
At the time of publishing, the Medpage MP5-BMA Irregular Sleeping Movement Detection Alarm System costs around $403, including shipping.
Best for iOS users
This iOS-compatible video monitor is suitable for adults and children. It streams live videos to record movements and sends alerts and loud alarms to a person’s paired iOS smart device.
People can also share the recordings with a healthcare professional, which may be helpful when diagnosing and treating medical conditions.
This kit comes with a preconfigured 32 gigabyte iPod touch, the SAMi Camera, and a WiFi router.
Reviewers on SAMi’s website state that this product is easy to set up and is useful to track movements caused by conditions other than epilepsy, such as Dravet Syndrome.
However, this product is one of the more expensive options on the market. People should carefully consider whether SAMi offers the assistance that they require.
SAMi offers free shipping and a one-year warranty.
At the time of publishing, the SAMi-3 cost $949.
Below are some frequently asked questions about seizure monitors.
Are seizure monitors effective?
A 2016 article notes that, while there are several types of epilepsy monitors, no one device can detect all types of seizures. There is limited information on which monitor can best detect different seizure types.
A more recent review suggests that seizure detection devices can be beneficial for people with epilepsy and any caregivers. The authors state that these devices may reduce the risk of harm.
People should carefully research which epilepsy monitor would best suit their needs before purchasing. It is also important to remember that while these devices can monitor seizures and alert caregivers, they are not a substitute for medical attention or treatment.
Can an Apple Watch detect seizures?
People who own Apple Watches may download apps that claim they can detect seizures.
Some of these apps may send alerts to emergency contacts if they detect a fall or unusual movement.
However, it is important to note that any app or device may sound a false alarm. People should not rely solely on apps or devices to notify other people they are having a seizure.
Can a Fitbit detect seizures?
While the Fitbit Charge 2 can detect seizures, the smartwatch also has the potential to return false alarms. People may wish to purchase other devices or speak to a healthcare professional about potential purchases if they wish to monitor seizures.
Epilepsy or seizure monitors are devices that can detect when a person is having a seizure and alert their family members or caregivers.
Many monitors available for purchase online are suitable for most individuals, including children. People have various monitor options, including cameras, wearables, or sensors that sit underneath the mattress.