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Using Wearable Tech To Relieve Chronic Pain

Thursday 12 March 2015


An advertorial from Startup Hook:


Wearable tech


Steven Macek
March 8, 2015

There are countless millions of people around the world who suffer from chronic pain. According to some reports there are 100 million in the US alone. Many of these people subject themselves to daily regimes of over-the-counter or prescription pain-killers. Many resort to other remedies in an effort to alleviate their pain. Some suffer in silence.

Whatever their individual circumstances, a majority of chronic pain sufferers report that their pain negatively impacts their ability to sleep. This results in a vicious circle where poor sleep means lower activity levels during the day, which often makes the pain worse.

An innovative American healthcare company (Neurometrix) has developed a ground-breaking solution to the problem of chronic pain. Their system – called Quell – is a world first pain relief wearable that combines neurotechnological science and smartphone tech. It is FDA approved and 100% drug free.

How Does It Work?

The Quell wearable is a lightweight and non-invasive device that patients strap to their calf. Via an electrode, the device then stimulates sensory nerves located in the upper calf, prompting those nerves to carry neural pulses to the brain. These then trigger the release of opioids, a natural pain relief response in the central nervous system, blocking pain throughout the body. Patients typically experience relief of their pain symptoms within 15 minutes.

Due to it’s sleek design, Quell can be worn whilst sleeping. It then monitors the patient’s therapy and sleep quality, automatically adjusting to sleep patterns. This activity is monitored on a handy iPhone app via bluetooth. The app is currently only available in iOS, with Android on the way. The app is not essential however, as Quell can also be used manually.

Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology from Neurometrix on Vimeo.

Who Will It Benefit?

It is believed that Quell can be of particular benefit to sufferers of:

  • Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN) – Diabetes is frequently accompanied by nerve damage to the hands, legs and feet, caused by high blood glucose levels. This nerve damage can result in pain that makes it difficult to get the regular exercise needed to help manage blood sugar levels.
  • Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia is typically characterized by chronic widespread muscle pain, fatigue and tenderness with hypersensitivity to pressure over tender points on the body. The pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can substantially interfere with daily functioning, work and social activities.
  • Sciatica – Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body and is described as pain or tingling that radiates from the lower back and travels down the leg. Sciatica pain can vary from infrequent and irritating to constant and incapacitating, making it hard to create a treatment plan.
  • Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. It most commonly affects the knees, hips and spine.

Quell currently has a crowdfunding campaign running on Indiegogo to take pre-orders for the official launch in June. It has become significantly over-subscribed in short-order. Less than one week in they have raised 226% of the original funding target.

In the short term, Quell will be available in both the US and Canadian healthcare markets. Whilst availability in subsequent markets is subject to approval by local medical authorities, there seems little doubt that Quell will soon be providing drug free pain relief to millions of people all around the world.

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The above originally appeared here.

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