Preferences and User Experiences of Wearable Devices in Epilepsy: A Systematic Review and Mixed-Methods Synthesis

Shobi Sivathamboo, Duong Nhu, Loretta Piccenna, Anthony Yang, Ana Antonic-Baker, Swarna Vishwanath, Marian Todaro, Lim Wei Yap, Levin Kuhlmann, Wenlong Cheng, Terence John O'Brien, Natasha A Lannin, Patrick Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background and ObjectivesTo examine the preferences and user experiences of people with epilepsy and caregivers regarding automated wearable seizure detection devices.MethodsWe performed a mixed-methods systematic review. We searched electronic databases for original peer-reviewed publications between January 1, 2000, and May 26, 2021. Key search terms included "epilepsy,""seizure,""wearable,"and "non-invasive."We performed a descriptive and qualitative thematic analysis of the studies included according to the technology acceptance model. Full texts of the discussion sections were further analyzed to identify word frequency and word mapping.ResultsTwenty-two observational studies were identified. Collectively, they comprised responses from 3,299 participants including patients with epilepsy, caregivers, and healthcare workers. Sixteen studies examined user preferences, 5 examined user experiences, and 1 examined both experiences and preferences. Important preferences for wearables included improving care, cost, accuracy, and design. Patients desired real-time detection with a latency of ≤15 minutes from seizure occurrence, along with high sensitivity (≥90%) and low false alarm rates. Device-related costs were a major factor for device acceptance, where device costs of <$300 USD and a monthly subscription fee of <$20 USD were preferred. Despite being a major driver of wearable-based technologies, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy was rarely discussed. Among studies evaluating user experiences, there was a greater acceptance toward wristwatches. Thematic coding analysis showed that attitudes toward device use and perceived usefulness were reported consistently. Word mapping identified "specificity,""cost,"and "battery"as key single terms and "battery life,""insurance coverage,""prediction/detection quality,"and the effect of devices on "daily life"as key bigrams.DiscussionUser acceptance of wearable technology for seizure detection was strongly influenced by accuracy, design, comfort, and cost. Our findings emphasize the need for standardized and validated tools to comprehensively examine preferences and user experiences of wearable devices in this population using the themes identified in this study. Greater efforts to incorporate perspectives and user experiences in developing wearables for seizure detection, particularly in community-based settings, are needed.Trial Registration InformationPROSPERO Registration CRD42020193565.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1380-e1392
Number of pages14
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2022


  • epilepsy
  • wearables

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