A portable diagnostic system for epilepsy

The research

Seer Medical has developed a take home portable diagnostic system for people with epilepsy. The technology relies on a wearable device measuring electrical activity in the brain using electroencephalography, or EEG.

It also uses electrocardiogram, or ECG, to measure electrical activity in the heart because some heart problems cause blackouts that can be confused with epileptic seizures. Cloud services are used to capture information and machine learning for big data analysis.

The people behind the research

Seer Medical was co-founded by Dr Dean Freestone (CEO), with Professor Mark Cook (CMO), and George Kenley (COO).

Impacts and outcomes

More than 65 million people worldwide live with epilepsy – a condition that is difficult to diagnose and complex to treat.

The misdiagnosis rate of epilepsy is as high as 30 per cent and around 30 per cent of people living with epilepsy can’t effectively control their seizures with medication. The economic burden of epilepsy in Australia alone is more than $A12 billion a year, according to a 2019-20 Deloitte report.

In Australia, Seer Medical’s portable diagnosis system can reduce patient wait times from up to two years to a few weeks. Seer’s world-first seizure risk forecast provides greater peace of mind and helps people with epilepsy manage their condition long-term.

Pathway to growth

The University of Melbourne and others have invested in Seer Medical to enable the startup to globalise its technology.

In July 2022, Seer Medical received investment from Breakthrough Victoria to support plans to become a world leader in epilepsy home monitoring and management. This funding allows Seer Medical to continue its research and further develop its technology to enhance the lives and wellbeing of the epilepsy community.

In 2022, the business was named Startup of the Year in the inaugural Governor of Victoria Startup Awards. In August 2022, Seer Medical also opened a London office.

Future potential

“Access to a home epilepsy diagnostic service gives so many more people the opportunity to improve their healthcare with life changing results,” says Professor Mark Cook, CMO of Seer Medical and Sir John Eccles Chair of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.