While advances in medication and implantable devices have helped those all around the world living with epilepsy, the ability to better detect and even predict when they will have debilitating seizures would be a significant improvement in their everyday lives.
Imagine, for example, if a person knew with reasonable certainty that his or her next seizure would not occur for an hour or a day or a week. That might allow him or her to run to the market or go out for the evening or plan a short vacation with less concern.
Computers and even dogs have been tested in the effort to do this, but now a group of organizations battling epilepsy is employing “big data” to help. They sponsored an online competition that drew 504 entrants who tried to develop algorithms that would detect and predict epileptic seizures.