We took inspiration from real people who have this neurological disorder. We wanted to develop an app that gives users with this disorder confidence and assurance knowing that help is on its way. The following is the epilepsy story of Brandi Parker (

"At the age of 15 I had my first seizure. I was in high school and didn't want anyone to know that I had epilepsy. I have only had seizures on two occasions. I was so ashamed and didn't want people to think that something was wrong with me. I finally got to the point where I told people that I had epilepsy. I came to the place that I realized that I had to own my epilepsy or it would control me." -Brandy Parker

Epilepsy Facts

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disorder and affects people of all ages. Epilepsy means the same thing as "seizure disorders". Epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures and can cause other health problems. Epilepsy is a spectrum condition with a wide range of seizure types and control varying from person-to-person.

What is Ep-Detect?

Ep-Detect is an Android application which is able to detect an epilepsy and informs this to a list of contacts to help prevent brain injury. It connects to a Pebble via Bluetooth which is able to detect intense shaking. Once the app recognizes that an elliptical attack is happening, it sends a text message to every contact provided with the location of the person having the attack. The app also attempts to contact emergency services. If case of a false alarm, the user will have 10 seconds to notify the app of this event.

How we built it

Ep-Detect connects to a Pebble smartwatch via Bluetooth. The app stores contacts added by the user using SQLite. Once severe shaking is detected, the user is given 10 seconds to notify the app of a false alarm. Once this 10 second time period have passed, the app will get the location of the user with Google Maps and will send a text message to all contacts stored in the database using SMSManager. Also, using the Nuance Speech Kit, a warning message is triggered to alert anyone nearby of the situation. We attempted to call emergency services using a voice message using Twilio, however that feature required a paid account.

Challenges we ran into

We initially ran into problems with the Pebble. At first, we weren't able to communicate with the Pebble from the app. However, we were able to find a solution using the AppMessage method. Another challenge we faced was interrupting the Nuance Speech Kit when it was playing.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are very happy to solve the problem of detecting elliptical attacks. We were able to provide a fully functional app that can help prevent injuries and better people's lives. We were also able to make use of two APIs.

What we learned

We are now more informed about this neurological disorder and we learned how technology can assist or even provide a solution to prevent injuries. Technical wise, we learned how to use the Pebble smartwatch and gain android skills. Also, we learned how to communicate and work efficiently in a team of three.

Next steps for Ep-Detect

There is always room for improvement for the UI of the app. If time permitted, we would've liked to try out more APIs for the app. We would perform experiments on real users and more testing to improve the app.

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