Beating epilepsy with algorithms

Even on anticonvulsant medications, patients with epilepsy struggle with spontaneous seizures. While infrequent, patients experience persistent anxiety since a seizure can occur at any time, and activities like driving or swimming become dangerous. To help those living with epilepsy and the approximately 150,000 Americans who will be diagnosed this year, doctors and researchers from the University of Melbourne partnered with MathWorks, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Epilepsy Society to launch a recently-completed public competition to produce highly accurate seizure forecasting algorithms, working with real human patient data. The competition was run through Kaggle, a platform for predictive modeling and analytics competitions that houses the world’s largest community of data scientists. The hope is to make seizures less like earthquakes, which can strike without warning, and more like…

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