Epilepsy Talk

SeizAlarm — Apple’s New Seizure Detector — Help is Always Just a Button Press Away | February 10, 2018

Greg Pabst and his neurologist were trying to get a handle on his adult onset epilepsy when the doctor’s mention of the newly announced Apple Watch gave Pabst an “ah-hah” moment.

The doctor was discussing tools for Pabst to chart his seizures and send alerts to emergency contacts.

“Then he said, ‘It’s only a matter of time before somebody does that for the Apple Watch,’ ” Pabst, 38, recalled.

“Then I thought maybe it should be me.”

Since many people with epilepsy experience auras before what could turn into a grand mal seizure, Mr. Pabst sought to address that unresponsive period.

SeizAlarm works during these critical moments, giving a user the option have the app alert emergency contacts or press a delay function that starts a short timer.

If a user is in the middle of a seizure, an alert will go out immediately after the timer goes off, usually set for between 45 and 60 seconds.

A user’s activity is automatically logged or there is an option to manually chart symptoms and other experiences related to a seizure.

“Hopefully this app will bring that sense of comfort and independence to those coping with the condition,” Pabst said.

A web designer, Pabst was diagnosed nine years ago after experiencing a growing number of auras that were accompanied by a distinct pitch sounds.

He said medication has kept auras and grand mal seizures at bay since late last year.

The announcement of an Apple Watch came shortly after a seizure while he was in the middle of diagnostic tests.

“I’m pretty lucky because some people have grand mal seizures every day and can’t drive or do anything on their own,” Pabst said.

“My main goal is to contribute something helpful to the epilepsy community.”

Noted as one MedicalNewsToday’s top 10 epilepsy apps, the new innovative SeizAlarm is a user-friendly iPhone and Apple Watch app combined.

It’s designed to alert emergency contacts manually if you think you will need help soon.

Or automatically.

The app monitors for abnormal repetitive motion or elevated heart rate and notifies your emergency contacts accordingly.

If you plan on taking part in an activity that may trigger false seizure detection, you can disable this feature.

When a help request is sent, your location is captured and sent to your emergency contacts via GPS so that they can easily find you.

(If you plan on taking part in an activity that may trigger false seizure detection, you can disable this feature.)

And logs can be kept to retain activity and symptom information for your records.


Seizure-like detection is done via the motion sensors on the iPhone and/or motion sensors or heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch.

Sensitivity controls allow you to set customized settings specific to you.

When a potential seizure is detected, emergency contacts will automatically be contacted via multiple channels (text message, phone call and email).

Or send immediate help requests manually to emergency contacts.

There is also a manually activated time delayed help request feature (via the “Time Delayed Help” button) that is helpful for those that have localized seizures (auras) that may turn into generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

Custom-set the delay time in the settings.

When a seizure warning is initiated, you’ll see a countdown which can be extended via the press of a button.

If you end up becoming unresponsive, the timer will send a help request at the end of the countdown.

Help requests are sent via GPS coordinates (if available), so that your emergency contacts know exactly where you are.

You can are also able to track your seizure events with precise logging features.

SeizAlarm also supports multiple emergency contact support, so more than one person can be contacted when you need help.

And international phone number support is available for emergency contact(s).

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Compatibility: Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Price: No cost for the app itself. Costs include the Apple device itself + $6.99/month or $69.99/year subscription for seizure detection and the help request service.
Without the “ALERTS” subscription, users will be able to log seizures manually but will not be able to send help requests.








  1. This sounds fascinating – I would need to investigate whether it is suitable for my type of tonic-clonic seizures and, equally importantly, is it available outwith the USA ? I live in France and I saw the subscription etc in dollars – i wondered if the current set up was only in the US?


    Comment by Margaret Hay — February 10, 2018 @ 12:45 PM

  2. Does this AppleWatch app work for individuals with partial focal seizures / complex partial as well as simple partial seizures? These seizures have repetitive motions, yet the individual stays conscious, yet “zones out”. They have a lost look in their eyes, and when you try to call them to attention, they don’t respond.


    Comment by ANN TSCHOE — February 10, 2018 @ 1:11 PM

    • Seizure-like detection is done via the motion sensors on the iPhone and/or motion sensors or heart rate sensor on the Apple Watch.

      Sensitivity controls allow you to set customized settings specific to you.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 10, 2018 @ 1:40 PM

  3. This brilliant idea & life-saving device needs to be expanded to Doctor’s Offices for recommendations just like pacemakers, for the insurance to cover the costs of the subscription.
    While the devices may NOT stop seizures, I’m definitely sure many families would have a peace of mind, knowning that they will have more control over Epilepsy, whenever & wherever seizures strike to the members of their family.


    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — February 10, 2018 @ 1:25 PM

  4. Thanks for sharing – using heart rate is an interesting addition, which may make it possible to detect seizures other than tonic-clonic ones (I don’t know what heart rate does during a partial seizure though!). There is one called Brio that I think only uses heart rate – I’d be interested to know if anyone has any experience of this.
    I have made a list of seizure detector watch-like devices and their costs that you might be interested in.
    Regards, Graham.


    Comment by jones139 — February 10, 2018 @ 2:41 PM

  5. I have a Live Alert, and when medicine was making me suddenly lose balance & fall, I knew help was right there. I would highly recommend it to anyone with problems, epilepsy or not- it only costs $30 a month, and even makes one feel more secure. This is not a watch (think that would be inconvenient) mine is like a necklace.


    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Karen Frandsen — February 10, 2018 @ 5:09 PM

    • Karen, I learned about Live Alert when I was researching an article on best epilepsy “jewelry”. I agree with you and just recommended it to a friend with MS, yesterday.

      Thanks for the tip.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 10, 2018 @ 7:16 PM

  6. This sounds great, is it recommended for people with Primary Seizures and is it available in Western Australia?


    Comment by Krys — February 10, 2018 @ 7:28 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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