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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2016

EISAI COMMENCES PROVISION OF “EMILY” SMARTPHONE APP TO SUPPORT LIVING WITH EPILEPSY IN JAPAN
FEATURES LOCALIZED SOS NOTIFICATION FOR EMERGENCIES AND EASY COMMUNICATION VIA STAMPS

Eisai Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Tokyo, CEO: Haruo Naito, “Eisai”) announced today that it has commenced provision of the “EMILY” smartphone app in Japan to enable people with epilepsy and their families to enjoy greater peace of mind. EMILY is the first epilepsy support app which features localized SOS notification for emergencies such as the occurrence of seizures and communication functionality. The app is available to download for free (in Japanese only). By encouraging the use of the app among a wide range of people and not just people with epilepsy and their families, the app aims to build communities that support epilepsy.

Epilepsy affects approximately 1 million people in Japan. Treatment mainly consists of reducing the frequency of seizures and symptoms with drug therapy, which requires the administration of medicine on a regular basis. It is reported that approximately 70% of people with epilepsy are able to control their seizures with suitable antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).1 However, people with epilepsy live in a state of tension and fear as they never know when they may experience a seizure. According to the results an internet survey conducted by Eisai on people with epilepsy or their families (932 respondents), when asked what was important for their daily lives, the most popular response was to be able to commute to school or be able to work with peace of mind.

The EMILY app features an SOS function for times of emergency such as the onset of a seizure. By simply pressing a button displayed on the smartphone screen, a SOS will be sent to all supporters with the app installed in a 500 meter radius in addition to previously registered family members and friends. If a supporter who receives the SOS notification responds, they will be shown the current location of the sender on their smartphone and will be able to quickly come to their aid. Information on how to respond to a seizure will also be provided through the app.
In addition, the EMILY app can be used to generate a report on seizures and treatment administration recorded daily, which is useful for accurately relaying this information to attending physicians. In order to help prevent users from forgetting to take medicine, the app also enables users to share alerts with family and friends as well as communicate with registered family members and friends via stamps (character images) and text.
Furthermore, users can receive various kinds of epilepsy related information through the app including comments from other people with epilepsy.

Dr. Masako Watanabe, head of the Shinjuku Neuro Clinic and supervisor of the EMILY app, commented that “For patients with epilepsy, forgetting to take medicine leads to serious seizures. The burden of having to take medicine every day is actually quite heavy, and receiving contact and encouragement from family and friends really helps motivate patients to take medicine.
In addition, the SOS function leads to reduced risk in the event of a seizure, and I hope that the app will become widely adopted by the general public.”

Together with worldwide provision of its AED Fycompa® which has a novel mechanism of action, Eisai is striving to continuously create new medicines for the field of epilepsy. In addition to Fycompa, Eisai provides the AEDs Inovelon® and Fostoin® as part of an extensive epilepsy product portfolio in Japan, and through the EMILY app as well as providing information via the Epi Support website, Eisai seeks to make continued contributions to address the diverse needs of, as well as increasing the benefits provided to, patients with epilepsy and their families, aiming to build communities that support living with epilepsy.

Media Inquiries:
Public Relations Department,
Eisai Co., Ltd.
+81-(0)3-3817-5120

< Notes to editors >

1.  Key Features of the EMILY App

The name EMILY comes from a combination of the underlined letters of EPILEPSY and SMILE. The app includes various functions enabling users to record the administration of medicine and seizures, communicate using stamps and other media, send out an SOS and receive information.

  1)  Logging of medicine administration and seizures, report generation
 

Epileptic seizures are diverse, and with regular administration of medicine being important for treatment, it is critical to make a record of seizures and medicine administration and accurately relay this to attending physicians. With the EMILY app, users can easily record their administration of registered medicines. Also, the app can generate a report of medicine administration and seizures over a month, which is useful for accurately relaying symptoms to attending physicians. In addition to logging daily condition and occurrence of seizures, the app can also be used to record videos of seizures. Featuring an alarm function, users can be alerted when it is time to take medicine to prevent forgetting administration. Furthermore, it is possible to have an alert sent to family and friends so that they can send the user a reminder.

Screen image (Logging of medicine administration and seizures, report generation)

  2)  Communication functionality using stamps (character images) and text
 

The app enables messaging with registered family members and friends to confirm their treatment administration and wellbeing as well as send encouragement via stamps (character images) and text. Family and friends can easily communicate with stamps that represent lines such as “have you taken your medicine yet?”, “Yes, I did” and “good job”. By making it easy to communicate with family and friends, the app encourages regular administration of medicine.

Screen image (Communication functionality using stamps (character images) and text)

  3)  SOS function
 

When people with epilepsy feel the need for emergency support such as the onset of a seizure, by simply pressing a button displayed on the smartphone screen, a SOS will be sent to all supporters with the app installed in a 500 meter radius in addition to previously registered family members and friends. If a supporter who receives the SOS notification responds, they will be shown the current location of the sender on their smartphone and will be able to quickly come to their aid. Upon arrival, information relating to how to respond to seizures will also be provided through the app.

Screen image (SOS function)

Screen image (SOS function)

  4)  Distribution of knowledge and information useful to people living with epilepsy
 

Through the app, users can check for various kinds of epilepsy related information such as comments and messages from other people with epilepsy as well as specialists. This information is not only useful for users and their families, it will also help deepen understanding of epilepsy among supporters who have installed the app on their devices.

  • The app can be downloaded for free (in Japanese only) via the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android)
    Information on how to use the app is available through the Epi Support website (Japanese only).
  • Epi Support, a website for living with epilepsy: With an accurate understanding of epilepsy and some minor adjustments, it is possible to live a fulfilling life. Epi Support provides advice to enable people with epilepsy and their families to live with piece of mind.
    http://epilepsy-support.net/ (available in Japanese only)

1 “The Epilepsies and Seizures: Hope Through Research. What are the epilepsies?” National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, accessed September 9, 2016, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/detail_epilepsy.htm#230253109