Chad Herbert’s son Daniel was diagnosed with Benign Rolandic Epilepsy in 2014. It’s a type of epilepsy the Epilepsy Foundation says accounts for about 15 percent of all Epilepsies in children and the good news is that most children grow out of it.
The bad news is that Daniel’s most affected by his condition at night or early morning while he sleeps. That’s why Chad invested in a sleep monitor/alarm for his bed that detects when he’s having a full tonic-clonic seizure.
At the same time though, he decided to work on a DIY version of a seizure alarm running on Arduino Micro. The starting point was Arduino’s “Knock” example project with the sketch code originally created in 2007 by David Cuartielles and modified by Tom Igoe in 2011:
While shopping around for the exact type of monitor/alarm my wife and I wanted, I found out a few things:
They are hard to find. I believe the one we ended up with was manufactured by a company in Great Britain.
They are expensive. The one we ended up getting cost in the $400-$500 range.
The one we have isn’t totally cumbersome, but it’s not easy to pack up and take with you somewhere.
Figuring these things out, I decided to search for a way to build a simple seizure alam that’s both relatively inexpensive and easy to transport. I’m sure there are people out there who have children that suffer from seizures that simply cannot afford equipment such as this even though they truly need it. Thanks to the folks in the Arduino community, I was able to accomplish both things I was setting out to do.
Discover how it was made on his blog.