Dyson design award goes to seizure protection device

Published: December 02 2019
Last updated: September 28 2022

A new seizure protection device has won an international design award and could provide a safer environment for people who experience seizures.

The Cocoon is a portable product designed for people who experience epileptic seizures. When in use, the device folds out and lies flat, acting as a cushion for the head during a seizure. It can alert someone when it’s being used, and detects the start of a seizure, alerting an ambulance if not deactivated after five minutes. The cushion also provides bystanders with information and guidance on how to provide care for the person.

The device was designed by Uma Smith, who was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 11 years old. The Cocoon won the American national James Dyson Award, a prize that celebrates great international design and engineering. In its creation Uma consulted with people with epilepsy, doctors and paramedics. The hope is that it will provide extra freedom and confidence for people with epilepsy to lead independent lives.

Uma says: “My personal experiences with having seizures in potentially dangerous locations inspired the Cocoon project. Everyone should be able to live an independent life, without fear. I am honoured to be the national winner of the James Dyson Award, and truly inspired to make Cocoon a reality.”

Uma says further testing needs to be done before the Cocoon can be launched.