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Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 May 1;12:171. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00171. eCollection 2018.

Mobile Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) for the Treatment of Epilepsy: Development of Digital Therapeutics Comprising Behavioral and Music-Based Interventions for Neurological Disorders.

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Department of Neurology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.
Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, New York, NY, United States.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.
Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.
Software Development Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, United States.
Wild Out West, San Rafael, CA, United States.


Digital health technologies for people with epilepsy (PWE) include internet-based resources and mobile apps for seizure management. Since non-pharmacological interventions, such as listening to specific Mozart's compositions, cognitive therapy, psychosocial and educational interventions were shown to reduce epileptic seizures, these modalities can be integrated into mobile software and delivered by mobile medical apps as digital therapeutics. Herein, we describe: (1) a survey study among PWE about preferences to use mobile software for seizure control, (2) a rationale for developing digital therapies for epilepsy, (3) creation of proof-of-concept mobile software intended for use as an adjunct digital therapeutic to reduce seizures, and (4) broader applications of digital therapeutics for the treatment of epilepsy and other chronic disorders. A questionnaire was used to survey PWE with respect to preferred features in a mobile app for seizure control. Results from the survey suggested that over 90% of responders would be interested in using a mobile app to manage their seizures, while 75% were interested in listening to specific music that can reduce seizures. To define digital therapeutic for the treatment of epilepsy, we designed and created a proof-of-concept mobile software providing digital content intended to reduce seizures. The rationale for all components of such digital therapeutic is described. The resulting web-based app delivered a combination of epilepsy self-care, behavioral interventions, medication reminders and the antiseizure music, such as the Mozart's sonata K.448. To improve long-term patient engagement, integration of mobile medical app with music and multimedia streaming via smartphones, tablets and computers is also discussed. This work aims toward development and regulatory clearance of software as medical device (SaMD) for seizure control, yielding the adjunct digital therapeutic for epilepsy, and subsequently a drug-device combination product together with specific antiseizure medications. Mobile medical apps, music, therapeutic video games and their combinations with prescription medications present new opportunities to integrate pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for PWE, as well as those living with other chronic disorders, including depression and pain.


Mozart; antiepileptic drugs; antiseizure; anxiety; digital medicine; eHealth; mHealth; refractory epilepsy

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