Lisbon, 12 May 2009 In the year since its launch, the Paediatric Epilepsy Remote Monitoring System, developed by neurologists and paediatricians of the West Lisbon Hospital Group (CHLO) and by the Vodafone Portugal Foundation, has significantly increased the number and potential success of surgical interventions in children with epilepsy.
Between March 2008 and March of this year the number of patients monitored rose from 36 to 59 (an increase of 64%), with an even more impressive increase in the number of patients proposed for surgery (from 3 to 25, an increase of 733%), demonstrating the projects success.
The occupation rate of the room where the system is installed was 86%, with 59 patients being monitored over a 52-week period in different parts of the country, including the Autonomous Regions.
The introduction of the Paediatric Epilepsy Remote Monitoring System is an undoubted success story, enabling many patients to be seen in Portugal without having to travel abroad as was often the case before the system was installed.
Thanks to the use of mobile communications and the implementation of a specially developed software application, physicians can now remotely observe the V-EEG (video electroencephalogram) examinations on a computer or PDA at any time, even outside the hospital environment. In effect, they can make these observations on the move, from any part of the country or even abroad, and interact with the system via the specially developed software application.
The speed of this new process of analysing traces and seizures by the EEG specialist facilitates early, better informed decision-making which optimises the diagnosis conditions and reduces the length of the childs stay in hospital, so improving patient comfort.
Because of this, it has been possible to propose a larger number of patients for surgery, especially younger children. Early surgery is very important because it minimises the risk to psychomotor development of uncontrolled epilepsy or the prolonged use of anti-epileptic medication.
Additionally, thanks to the use of wireless communications, the system does not confine children to bed during the hospital stay. Up to now, these examinations have usually been performed and transmitted by a system of electrodes fixed to patients heads and linked by a system of fixed cables to transmit the EEG signal.
This project is a partnership between CHLO and the Vodafone Portugal Foundation, which developed the computer platform and the mobile communications system, and has also met all the financial costs involved in purchasing the equipment and operating the system for one year.