Digital Care in Epilepsy: A Conceptual Framework for Technological Therapies.
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Epilepsy is associated with a significant increase in morbidity and mortality. The likelihood is significantly greater for those patients with specific risk factors. Identifying those at greatest risk of injury and providing expert management from the earliest opportunity is made more challenging by the circumstances in which many such patients present. Despite increasing recognition of the importance of earlier identification of those at risk, there is little or no improvement in outcomes over more than 30 years. Despite ever increasing sophistication of drug development and delivery, there has been no meaningful improvement in 1-year seizure freedom rates over this time. However, in the last few years, there has been an increase in patient-triggered interventions based on automated monitoring of indicators and risk factors facilitated by technological advances. The opportunities such approaches provide will only be realized if accompanied by current working practice changes. Replacing traditional follow-up appointments at arbitrary intervals with dynamic interventions, remotely and at the point and place of need provides a better chance of a substantial reduction in seizures for people with epilepsy. Properly implemented, electronic platforms can offer new opportunities to provide expert advice and management from first presentation thus improving outcomes. This perspective paper provides and proposes an informed critical opinion built on current evidence base of an outline techno-therapeutic approach to harnesses these technologies. This conceptual framework is generic, rather than tied to a specific product or solution, and the same generalized approach could be beneficially applied to other long-term conditions.
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