A young campaigner who lost his aunt to epilepsy has welcomed a new safety app for people with the condition.
The Epilepsy Self Monitor (EpSMon), is designed to help adults who experience seizures manage how much risk they are in with three monthly tests which suggests ways to lower it.
Gildersome campainger Jack Megson, 15, has been working with app designers SUDEP Action to raise awareness of epilepsy since 2006 after his aunt Helen died.
He said: “It is vital that people who have the condition have as much access as possible to information to help them be aware of the risks and to help them keep safe whilst getting on with their day to day living.
“I am happy that this new app is now available to help people. I hope they can use this app to look after themselves and manage their condition better.”
Jack’s work has taken him to 10 Downing Street and he was one of the 23 finalists of the Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award in October 2013.
SUDEP Action chief executive Jane Hanna OBE said: “We are very grateful for all the amazing work Jack has done raising awareness of risk in epilepsy and of EpSMon.
“People may only see a doctor once a year for their epilepsy. This safety app is designed to help them manage their risk the rest of the time.
“EpSMon will make people aware of why and when a medical review of their epilepsy is important.
“It will flag up whether help should be sought earlier than planned because risks have worsened.”
Epilepsy claims at least 1,200 lives in the UK every year – and at least 600 of these are Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP). But research shows that about 40 per cent of these may be prevented through better management of risk factors.
There are more than 600,000 people who suffer epilepsy in the UK, with around 87 people diagnosed every day.
The EpSMon app been developed by a team including clinicians, patients and health technology information experts at Plymouth University, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and SUDEP Action.
For more information, visit www.epsmon.com