Empatica eyes delivery of wearable epilepsy device following successful crowdfunding campaign

Empatica, which had a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year for its wearable device that tracks stress, epileptic seizures, activity and sleep, hopes to begin delivery for its Embrace technology by next month.

The crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo raised more than four times its initial goal of $400,000 in January. In a blog post on the Empatica website in August, the company said it hoped to begin delivery in early December. In an updated post earlier this month, Empatica said it had begun its last stage of testing ahead of a final build.

The device, dubbed Embrace, is based on the company's previous E3 sensor developed by Rosalind Picard, who was a co-founder of Affectiva. Picard, an MIT professor, joined the Italy-based Empatica when Affectiva dropped the Q-sensor in 2013 to focus on emotional analysis used with advertising focus groups, MobiHealthNews reported in January.

Embrace's technology, which is worn on the wrist, monitors and measures physiological stress, emotional arousal, sleep and physical activity to detect an epileptic seizure as it begins. The device can then send a warning to a parent or caregiver who can respond for help. The company is in the process of seeking FDA clearance for the device.

The sensor has "enabled projects that are difficult to do with lab equipment because it's clinically valuable data that you can get in the field," Matteo Lai, Empatica's CEO, told the publication. "You can study everything from Alzheimer's to Parkinson's, schizophrenia, depression, stress, anxiety, and also epilepsy and autism."

The company also said it's developing additional apps for the device to include chronic conditions and is looking into a biofeedback video game that can be controlled by the wearable.

- see the company blog post
- check out the MobiHealthNews article