My name's Pip Karoly and I'm a senior research fellow in the University of Melbourne and a data scientist at Seer Medical.
Epileptic seizures, even small events, are a major problem in people's lives.
Not knowing when a seizure will happen can cause a lot of anxiety and risk for people.
Activities that we take for granted, such as driving, exercising, or swimming, even a hot cup of tea can become dangerous.
During my Master's project, I worked with an inspiring team of people who were combining engineering, neuroscience and clinical neurology to solve fascinating medical problems and developing brain implants.
During the final year of my PhD, that same team of people came together to found Seer Medical.
Seer's vision is to develop technology to help people with epilepsy to better manage their health.
We have launched a mobile and wearable app to forecast the risk of people's seizures.
So you can think of this app as being a little like the weather forecast on your mobile phone.
Each day you can look and see what the chance of rain is and whether you need to bring an umbrella that day.
Similarly for people with epilepsy, they can see their potential risk of having a seizure and plan their activities around it.
The seizure risk app is publicly available and our preliminary work with users is showing many of them find it helpful to manage their anxiety or day-to-day lives.
The forecasting app is based on my research discoveries into long term cycles of seizure risk, which affect most people with epilepsy and are unique to their seizures.
The next step with the app is to run clinical trials of seizure risk forecasting, both in Australia and the US, to understand how to best target this technology to improve quality of life for people with epilepsy.
A really rewarding part of my work is being able to span right from research through to clinical translation and work directly with the users of this technology.
The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science are a wonderful example to show Australians how science and discovery can bridge into innovation and real-world applications.