Assessment of the Predictive Value of Outpatient Smartphone Videos for Diagnosis of Epileptic Seizures

William O. Tatum, Lawrence J. Hirsch, Michael A. Gelfand, Emily K. Acton, W. Curt Lafrance, Robert B. Duckrow, David K. Chen, Andrew S. Blum, John D. Hixson, Joe F. Drazkowski, Selim R. Benbadis, Gregory D. Cascino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Importance: Misdiagnosis of epilepsy is common. Video electroencephalogram provides a definitive diagnosis but is impractical for many patients referred for evaluation of epilepsy. Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of outpatient smartphone videos in epilepsy. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective, masked, diagnostic accuracy study (the OSmartViE study) took place between August 31, 2015, and August 31, 2018, at 8 academic epilepsy centers in the United States and included a convenience sample of 44 nonconsecutive outpatients who volunteered a smartphone video during evaluation and subsequently underwent video electroencephalogram monitoring. Three epileptologists uploaded videos for physicians from the 8 epilepsy centers to review. Main Outcomes and Measures: Measures of performance (accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value) for smartphone video-based diagnosis by experts and trainees (the index test) were compared with those for history and physical examination and video electroencephalogram monitoring (the reference standard). Results: Forty-four eligible epilepsy clinic outpatients (31 women [70.5%]; mean [range] age, 45.1 [20-82] years) submitted smartphone videos (530 total physician reviews). Final video electroencephalogram diagnoses included 11 epileptic seizures, 30 psychogenic nonepileptic attacks, and 3 physiologic nonepileptic events. Expert interpretation of a smartphone video was accurate in predicting a video electroencephalogram monitoring diagnosis of epileptic seizures 89.1% (95% CI, 84.2%-92.9%) of the time, with a specificity of 93.3% (95% CI, 88.3%-96.6%). Resident responses were less accurate for all metrics involving epileptic seizures and psychogenic nonepileptic attacks, despite greater confidence. Motor signs during events increased accuracy. One-fourth of the smartphone videos were correctly diagnosed by 100% of the reviewing physicians, composed solely of psychogenic attacks. When histories and physical examination results were combined with smartphone videos, correct diagnoses rose from 78.6% to 95.2%. The odds of receiving a correct diagnosis were 5.45 times greater using smartphone video alongside patient history and physical examination results than with history and physical examination alone (95% CI, 1.01-54.3; P =.02). Conclusions and Relevance: Outpatient smartphone video review by experts has predictive and additive value for diagnosing epileptic seizures. Smartphone videos may reliably aid psychogenic nonepileptic attacks diagnosis for some people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA neurology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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