What Is Home Video Telemetry?

Home video telemetry (HVT) is a tool used by neurologists to help diagnose seizure-like events. It is a combination of electroencephalography (commonly referred to as EEG, which measures brain activity) and video recording.

These seizure-like events can be caused by a variety of conditions including epilepsy, heart issues, as well as psychological conditions. Symptoms of these conditions include:

  • Convulsions – uncontrolled shaking or moving of the limbs and body, often causing the person to collapse
  • Sudden loss of consciousness – similar to fainting spells
  • Periods of unresponsiveness – which may look like the person is staring blankly into space
  • Loss of awareness – momentary disorientation which the person has no memory of

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, your doctor may refer you to HVT to better understand what is causing them.

While using some of the same technology that you may see during a routine EEG at hospital, HVT typically records over a much longer period of time – sometimes as long as a week – for a better chance of capturing one of your events.

Your doctor may refer you to an external service provider for HVT. These providers work closely with clinics and hospitals to deliver high-quality monitoring from the comfort of your home. Seer Medical is one of these providers. If you’ve been referred to us, we’ll be responsible for the successful completion of the study before handing over any data to your doctor.

Because symptoms like the ones mentioned above can be caused by a variety of conditions – not just epilepsy – Seer Medical’s HVT service includes both measurement of brain activity (electroencephalography, or EEG) and heart activity (electrocardiography, or ECG). In addition, your study will be recorded using a video camera, as what your body does during events can help your doctor diagnose their cause.

How is home video telemetry different from regular video telemetry?

Traditionally, video telemetry has been done in either a hospital or specialised clinic, with patients required to stay at the clinic for the duration of the study. These in-clinic studies can vary in length, from overnight to up to a week. How long you need to stay is determined by your doctor. The measurements taken vary, but EEG and video recordings are always a component, and ECG is frequently used.

Seer Medical’s home video telemetry service provides similar information to in-clinic video telemetry but from the comfort of home. Instead of staying in hospital for several nights, you only need to visit our clinic to have the equipment fitted before taking it home for the rest of their study. 

After connection, you’ll be instructed on how to set up the equipment and sent home. During the monitoring period, you may be asked to avoid certain activities such as exercise or smoking to avoid interfering with data collection. You will only need to return to the clinic briefly to drop off the equipment after the monitoring period. 

Who is home video telemetry for?

Home video telemetry is a safe and accessible option for most people who require epilepsy monitoring, Your doctor might refer you to HVT in order to:

  • Confirm whether you have epilepsy
  • Determine the cause of events that look like seizures but are not epilepsy 
  • Classify the specific type of seizures you’re experiencing (if you have a diagnosis of epilepsy) 
  • Check how you’re responding to to antiseizure medication and other treatments 
  • Confirm whether you’ve gained control over your seizures 

Your safety comes first. In some cases, HVT may not be the best choice for patients who need care that could only be provided in a clinic. If you require medication tapering, seizure provocation, or constant medical supervision as part of your study, or are being monitored as part of a presurgical evaluation, HVT may not be suitable for you. In these cases your doctor will refer you for inpatient monitoring. 

[Blog] Video-EEG — Seer Medical or hospital?

How long does the home video telemetry test take?

Home video telemetry studies can last up to one week, but this can be shortened if your doctor believes you only need a shorter monitoring period to capture an event. 

Are there any risks associated with home video telemetry?

There is a very low risk of injury associated with home video telemetry. Some people experience minor skin irritation where electrodes are placed on the scalp, especially in longer studies. This irritation should go away a few days after disconnection. Consult a doctor if irritation persists longer. 

What happens if a seizure occurs during the test?

If a seizure occurs during the monitoring period, follow your existing seizure management plan. Call 999 if seizures last longer than 5 minutes, if you or the person experiencing the seizure do not regain full consciousness, or in the event of any other medical emergency. 

Many home video telemetry systems have some way for people being monitored to report seizures. Using this report function is important, as not all seizure-like events will show up on EEG or ECG. This report function may be a button you push on the equipment or an app you use on your phone. 

If you’re having HVT done with Seer Medical and you experience a seizure, we ask that you or a friend or family member use the Seer app to record details of the event.

How long do I wait for home video telemetry results?

How long you need to wait for your results will depend on who is monitoring you, as different hospitals and epilepsy monitoring units have their own timeframes. 

After disconnection, the data from your study will be reviewed by a clinical physiologist and a report returned to your referring doctor. If you’re being monitored with Seer Medical, your doctor will receive your report within 1 week. Please make an appointment with your doctor to be provided with the results of your study.

Learn more about Seer Medical’s home video telemetry service

More information about Seer Medical’s monitoring services can be found on our blog. If you’re undergoing monitoring, links to our help centre and other resources can be found on our website