Seizure-alerting Device Recently Approved by FDA Received Early Support from the Epilepsy Foundation


Epilepsy News From:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


In December 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted clearance to market the Embrace smartband for seizure-monitoring use in children. Embrace is the first non-EEG (non-electroencephalogram) based physiology signal seizure monitoring system to be cleared by the FDA for use in children 6 years old and older.

Originally Published February 6, 2018

Empatica Inc. received clearance from the FDA on February 5, 2018, for Embrace, a seizure-alerting smart watch that identifies generalized tonic-clonic seizures and sends alerts to caregivers. It also tracks activity, stress, and overall balance.

Clearance indicates the device is considered safe, effective, and “substantially equivalent” to other products reviewed by the agency. To obtain clearance, Empatica conducted a multi-site clinical study that included 135 people living with epilepsy who wore the device while undergoing video EEG monitoring. The device successfully detected all tonic-clonic seizures that were independently identified by epileptologists who looked at the video EEG data.

“It is so exciting to see new products for persons with epilepsy that help to return some independence for their lives,” said Editor-in-Chief Joseph I. Sirven.

The Epilepsy Foundation is dedicated to helping people living with epilepsy live to their fullest potential. Innovative devices like the Embrace watch are signs of progress that are making a difference in lives right now.

Early Investment in Innovative Technology

Empatica Inc. received early funding support from the Epilepsy Foundation. After winning the People’s Choice Award during the 2013 Shark Tank Competition, Empatica Inc. partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation on a crowdfunding Indiegogo campaign. The campaign raised epilepsy awareness and funding for further development of the device. It also included a buy one, give one component. As a result, the Epilepsy Foundation was able to give more than 1,500 Embrace watches to families in need. (This campaign is now closed.)

Empatica Inc. also received $75,000 as the winner of the Judges Choice Award at the 2015 Shark Tank Competition. They won for their project, “Embrace: Learn How Stress and Sleep Impact Your Seizures.”

Accessing Empatica

Embrace watches are currently available for purchase. There is an additional cost per month for the monitoring app that pairs with the watch. Empatica Inc. offers advice on pursuing insurance reimbursement for Embrace.

Learn More

Authored by: Judy Gretsch on 1/2019
Reviewed by: Elaine Wirrell MD on 1/2019

CEO and co-founder of Empatica Inc. Matteo Lai provides an update on the project, "Embrace: Learn How Stress and Sleep Impact Your Seizures" at the 2016 Epilepsy Foundation Pipeline Conference

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline