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21 March 2017

Students design winning vest to detect seizures

When 16-year-old Loughborough student Sankha Kahagala-Gamage witnessed someone having a seizure, he was inspired to team up with fellow student David Bernstein, also 16, to design a vest which they hope might one day help predict when a seizure is likely to happen.

The two Loughborough students who designed seizure detection vest, standing side by side at the award ceremony. Both are in brown suits.

And now the boys have been crowned Winners of the GSK UK Young Engineer of the Year 2017 for their design,  the 'Medivest' which monitors heart rate variability and body temperature, potentially predicting an epileptic seizure up to eight minutes in advance.

Once a seizure is detected, the vest sends a message to both the wearer’s phone as well as possibly a carer to warn them that they need to seek help.

Inspiring the next generation

Sankha Kahagala-Gamage, said:“Winning was one of the greatest achievements of our lives. It just goes to show if you truly believe in your invention and you put enough work in, you will succeed. I hope the MediVest will inspire the next set of engineers in 2018.”

The awards were made at the annual Big Bang Competition designed to recognise and reward young people’s achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The national contest also helps young people build skills and confidence in project-based work.

Read more

Research using AppleWatch links epileptic seizures to stress and missed sleep.