Early diagnosis kit for rare form of epilepsy

By @ryantmcknight

Role: UI/UX design lead

The theme of Mount Sinai Hospital’s 3rd annual “Health Hackathon” was rare diseases.

The team I joined chose to focus on a rare form of epilepsy known as West Syndrome. There are approximately 3 cases of West Syndrome per every 10,000 births.

Identifying specific problems

After researching the current standard of care on PubMed, we remotely interviewed neurologists with relevant experience to learn more about the problems they faced during the diagnosis process.

Based on our user research and several PubMed studies, we identified three key issues:

  1. The high cost of in-clinic assessments leads some patients to wait weeks for follow-ups
  2. Parents often have to leave work to stay with the child during in-clinic assessments
  3. Clinicians often lack the necessary data to accurately diagnose without multiple follow-ups

To address these issues, the team decided to prototype an EEG kit that would empower a caregiver to run the test on her or his child at home and provide the attending physician with real-time seizure data.

Building the “West Wave” kit

Within 72 hours, our team built a working EEG device (data sent to MatLab for demo purposes) and embedded it in a comfortable, hand-made cap designed for a baby or child.

Because a child with West Syndrome is prone to arm and leg spasms, we prototyped an arm sensor (data sent to MatLab for demo purposes) to detect such activity during a seizure.

Finally, we added an infared camera (Microsoft Kinect) to the kit to ensure the clinician would have video of any seizures captured by the EEG and arm sensor.

Designing the caregiver app

To demonstrate how easy the device would be for a patient to install and use, I designed a prototype app with Sketch and Invision.

View the Invision prototype. Note: I embedded GIFs of the hardware demos in the app prototype to serve as visual aids during the final presentation at the end of the hackathon. These GIFs would not appear in production version of the app.

Below are the Sketch mockups.

Pitching the judges

Below are the slides we used to pitch the judges at the end of the hackathon.