Quell – An Impressive Advance for Chronic Pain
Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology
One of the highlights of this year’s ADA Exhibit Hall was NeuroMetrix’s Quell chronic pain management device. Quell is the over the counter version (no prescription needed) of a previous NeuroMetrix device called Sensus – it uses nerve stimulation to treat multiple types of chronic pain, including diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Quell stands out as one of the only FDA cleared non-drug therapies for chronic pain relief, eliminating many of the side effects that come with common pain medications. The device first debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show in January, and it is now shipping to customers as of last week. Quell is available for purchase online here at $249 for the device itself, followed by $30 for each month’s worth of supplies.
Quell is worn in a strap that wraps around the upper calf, sending electrical pulses through the skin to the sensory nerves that in turn signal the brain to trigger the body’s natural pain relief response, blocking pain signals throughout the body. It is similar conceptually to TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), but developed in a completely wearable form factor and is much more sophisticated, stronger, and optimized for diabetes nerve pain. It can be worn for long periods of time, including during sleep – a major advantage, as pain can often be particularly burdensome at night, limiting sleep. The device itself is about the same thickness as an iPhone 5, is relatively lightweight, and its strap resembles a sports band that can easily be hidden under clothes. Impressively, NeuroMetrix teamed up with the renowned IDEO design team when creating Quell, leading to its patient-friendly and innovative look.
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