The Bhutan Epilepsy Project

This is the second video in a series on global conceptions of neurologic disease, focusing on the stigma of Epilepsy in Bhutan. This video was created as part of the Bhutan Epilepsy Project, an initiative to bring mobile EEG headsets to Bhutan in order to provide neurologic support to a country with no neurologists.

When someone has a seizure in Bhutan, it is frequently witnessed by family members or friends, but cannot be diagnosed and characterized by EEG measurement
Mobile phones now offer the possibility of carrying EEG diagnostic capabilities to the most remote areas of the world; we are working with Bhutan as an ideal implementation site of this novel technology based on the extreme-remote nature of many parts of the country. Indeed, Bhutan is one of the last countries on earth with 90% rural population. Some people must walk for 3-4 days and then take a 2-day road-trip to the capital to reach its main hospital with the majority of diagnostic equipment.

We are developing a tool at Harvard University along with colleagues in Denmark to facilitate diagnosis of epilepsy in rural settings and ease the burden on patients. This is an innovative technology that will likely be extremely beneficial for epilepsy patients in Bhutan as well as many other countries worldwide.  This new technology is much more mobile, using mobile phones for interpretation, and simple headsets instead of complicated wires and glue.