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This article was published in July 2013. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

Could airbag helmets be the future?

29 Jul 2013

A Swedish company had designed a new kind of cycle helmet. The helmet may also eventually be useful for people with epilepsy. The Hovding-Airbag for Cyclists is a unique bicycle helmet. It inflates into an airbag to protect the wearer’s head if there is a collision.

It could also be used by people with epilepsy to protect against a sudden fall because of a seizure. The airbag helmet is worn around the neck like a scarf or collar. The collar contains a folded up airbag that inflates in the event of an accident. Sensors within the collar pick up strange or sudden movements. The airbag is shaped like a hood. It surrounds and protects the user’s head.

At the moment, the airbag can only be used once. This would not be of much use to anyone with repeated seizures. However, a reusable product is now a step closer: The Epilepsy Foundation in the US has given the developers a cash prize of $25,000. This is part of an award of recognition, called the ‘Epilepsy Innovation Seal of Excellence’ or SEAL.

The SEAL hopes to recognise groundbreaking new products for people with epilepsy. It is hoped that the SEAL will add weight to Hovding’s application for funding. The company has said it needs around $4m (around £2.6m) to develop a reusable airbag helmet.

The Epilepsy Foundation has also awarded it’s SEAL to AuriMed Pharma of Park City, Utah. The company is researching a new anti-epileptic drug called AMP-X-0079. AuriMed is seeking $1.9m to develop the drug far enough to begin testing it on people.

The Hovding website

Epilepsy Foundation

Safety information for people with epilepsy

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