A SMARTPHONE application that could save the lives of epilepsy sufferers has been developed with the help of an Oxfordshire charity.

The Epilepsy Self Monitor (EpSMon) app is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and will allow people with the condition to assess their risk of suffering life-threatening seizures.

Wantage charity SUDEP Action funded some of the research that was used to create the SUDEP and Seizure Safety Check List, which lets doctors monitor changes in risk factors in their patients.

SUDEP stands for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and the charity works to prevent people dying and support bereaved family members.

About 3,742 people in Oxfordshire have epilepsy and about 1,200 people die as a result of the condition across the UK each year, half of them as a result of SUDEP.

SUDEP Action fundraising and operations manager Rachel Groves said: “The app has been in development since about January and will be released on Apple’s app store tomorrow.

“It will cost £1.49 and all of the money will come to SUDEP Action and will backfill the development work.

“EpSMon asks questions like how frequently the user has seizures, how long they have had epilepsy for, whether they are a heavy drinker, pregnant and so on.

“Some of those factors you can do something about.

“The app focuses on getting people to do something about them.”

EpSMon asks users to assess their risk every three months by answering these questions and then prompts them to make an appointment to visit their doctor if their risk level increases.

A version of the app for phones using the Android operating system is expected to be released in the autumn.