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Managed Healthcare Executive 10/04/2018

Technologies Seek to Ease Chronic Pain

Up to 30% of patients prescribed opioids for pain misuse them, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health. Between 8% and 12% of patients who are prescribed opioids develop an addiction. In total, the institute states that 115 people in the United States die every day due to opioid overdoses.

“Given the nationwide emphasis on the opioid crisis, those living with chronic pain feel there is a stigma that comes with seeking out strong pain prescriptions,” says Shai Gozani, MD, PhD, president, CEO, and director of NeuroMetrix, Inc., the company that created Quell, a wearable neurostimulation device. “It’s important to provide individuals with long-term pain conditions with enough options to be able to find an effective relief system that works for them.”

Below are some technology solutions on the market that can treat chronic pain, allowing patients to eliminate or decrease their dependence on opioid drugs.

Quell by NeuroMetrix

By using neurostimulation technology to tap into the body’s natural pain response and block pain signals, Quell helps patients with chronic back, arthritic, nerve, leg, and foot pain. The wearable device is FDA-cleared for daytime and overnight use. It is inserted in a cuff that can be positioned on the body and has an accompanying app that helps people track pain management and sleep patterns affected by chronic pain.

“Because pain is extremely personal and is experienced differently by all people, those living with chronic pain often need a variety of treatments to find relief—what we call a ‘toolbox approach’ to chronic pain,” Gozani says.

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