Interview With Shai Gozani, M.D., Ph.D., NeuroMetrix
NeuroMetrix develops wearable medical technology and point-of-care tests for management of chronic pain, nerve diseases, and sleep disorders. We spoke with President and CEO Shai Gozani, MD, PhD about NeuroMetrix and the opportunities they see in the 50+ market.
Quell Wearable Pain Relief
Longevity Network: What does Quell, the company, do?
Shai Gozani: The company name is actually NeuroMetrix, and we are a commercial stage, innovation driven healthcare company combining bioelectrical and digital medicine to address chronic health conditions including chronic pain, sleep disorders, and diabetes. The company’s lead product is Quell®, an over-the-counter wearable therapeutic device for chronic pain. The company also markets DPNCheck®, a rapid point-of-care test for diabetic neuropathy, which is the most common long-term complication of Type 2 diabetes.
LN: Can you tell us about your products and how they work?
SG: Quell is a wearable device to treat chronic pain. It is lightweight and can be worn during the day while active, and at night while sleeping. It has been cleared by the FDA for treatment of chronic pain without a prescription. At its core, it is a high powered neurostimulator that electrically activates the body’s ability to decrease pain perception through release of endogenous pain modulators called enkephalins. In a recent study, 81% of Quell users reported an improvement in their chronic pain and two-thirds reported reduced use of pain medications. Quell seeks to go beyond its direct analgesic benefits towards precision medicine. It does this by tracking biometric and health parameters such as sleep, activity, gait, and pain to improve the user’s understanding of their chronic pain and its impact on their health, and importantly, the reciprocal influence of their behaviors, such as how much they sleep, on their chronic pain. The data is presented to the user in the Quell smartphone app and is also aggregated in the Quell Health Cloud. Quell users can also start, stop, and adjust therapy discreetly via the Quell app.
LN: What opportunity did you want to address with the development of your wearable technology?
SG: There are over 100M Americans and 1.5B people worldwide with chronic pain. The US spends $600B annually on the direct and indirect costs of chronic pain, yet more than half of pain sufferers report inadequate pain control. Moreover, many people in chronic pain have poor sleep, low levels of activity, anxiety, depression and generally poor health. We set out to develop a wearable device that would both directly reduce pain through neurostimulation and also help our users manage their overall health using digital medicine technology such as sleep and activity monitoring with smartphone and cloud integration.
LN: Who are your primary users? How do your products benefit the 50+ population?
SG: Our primary users are people in chronic pain who are seeking to manage their chronic pain using fewer pain medications. Our typical user is over the age of 40, has a college education and has an active lifestyle that they are trying to maintain. Quell is ideal for the 50+ population that is seeking to maintain a high quality of life with fewer medications. Moreover, the integrated health monitoring technology helps our users evaluate and optimize their sleep, activity, gait and other metrics.
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