Most readers will be familiar with the process of having an EEG. This recording is done with the aim of capturing epileptic activity that can be used to diagnose and treat the condition. Similarly, many readers will know that the process can be disruptive and doesn’t always give a usable result.
Having an EEG with video telemetry to confirm suspected epilepsy is usually done in a hospital setting. It generally means taking a day or two out of your life so that you miss work or your kids’ parents evening. It means being in a strange place, hooked up to a machine that means even visiting the bathroom is a huge inconvenience. And at the end of the process, if you didn’t happen to have a seizure while the electrodes were glued to your head, it was a pointless exercise.
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has recently tried a new way of doing the video telemetry test. This new method is less disruptive to someone’s life and may even be more accurate than the usual way. A technician comes to your house and sets up the equipment to test for epilepsy in your own home.
The procedure is simply called Home Video Telemetry. As in a hospital setting, electrodes are attached to the head and begin gathering information as you go about regular life in your home. A technician visits once a day to collect this information, which is then passed to a consultant for analysis. Video cameras are also set up in your home to capture footage of the seizures as they occur.
Dr Franz Brunnhuber recently conducted research at King’s. This research suggests that someone with epilepsy is only half as likely to have a seizure in a hospital as they are at home. This fact alone suggests that conducting video telemetry tests in someone’s home gives double the chance of success.
He told the London Evening Standard: “Misdiagnosis is a major problem with epilepsy because there are lots of conditions which mimic the disorder so it’s crucial to capture seizure attacks accurately. The home service is more convenient for patients. Hospital is a huge stress factor for them. Home testing means patients can live a normal life.”
Due to the success of the Home Video Telemetry pilot, it is expected that it will now be tested in other areas of the UK.