Epi-Minder Pty Ltd
Epi-Minder’s brain activity monitoring device could transform the lives of people with epilepsy.
Epi-Minder Pty Ltd
Epi-Minder Pty Ltd was established in 2018 by Professor Mark Cook and the Bionics Institute to commercialise the Epiminder epilepsy device. Founding investors in the company included Cochlear Ltd, the University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.
The Epiminder device comprises an electrode array implanted under the scalp designed to record brain activity. Data collected by the implant is sent to a small processor placed behind the ear and transferred wirelessly to a phone app for analysis.
This device was developed to fill a gap in the clinical management of epilepsy. Currently neurologists rely on patients to keep a record of seizures and EEG recordings taken during clinic visits in order to adjust seizure control medication.
However, patients are often unaware of many of their seizures and clinic recordings only provide a short snapshot.
Professor Mark Cook, Director of Neurology at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne worked closely with researchers from the Bionics Institute to find a solution for this unmet clinical need, which resulted in the development of the Epiminder device.
Epilepsy device development at the Bionics Institute
Professor Cook joined forces with Associate Professor Chris Williams and his team of engineers at the Bionics Institute to develop a seizure monitoring device.
Leveraging their extensive experience in electrode technology, the team created a small, sub-scalp implant to record ultra-long EEG recordings.
Between 2014 and 2017, the Bionics Institute team made improvements to the electrodes and developed surgical approaches following a series of pre-clinical validation and efficacy trials. In tandem with electrode design, the team also developed electronic technology that sends the captured brain activity recordings continuously to a smartphone, then to the cloud for analysis.
First-in-human clinical trials in Melbourne
First-in-human prototypes were manufactured in Australia and a small number of people were implanted with the Epiminder device in 2019 at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. Results from this trial are being used to develop a larger clinical trial.
Epi-Minder has also joined forces with Seer Medical to develop software that not only records, but also predicts seizures.
The aim of this research is to allow patients to receive seizure alerts via a smartphone app and move to safety, giving them more control over their lives.
A tiny device making a huge impact for people with epilepsy
Epilepsy affects over 50 million people around the world according to the WHO, and commercialisation of the Epiminder device will have a huge impact on the lives of people severely limited by the disease.
Professor Cook said: “Patients are often unaware of their seizures, but the device gives a read out of all the seizures actually happening, allowing medication to be calibrated more accurately. Ultimately, we hope this will give people with epilepsy more control over their seizures.”