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MobileSyrup 03/09/2015

Wearable Offers Side Effect-free Relief for Chronic Pain

According to a Statistics Canada survey from 2008, some 1.5 million Canadians from the ages of 12 to 44 suffer from chronic pain.

When one breaks down those numbers, that means that about 9 per cent of Canadian males and 12 per cent of Canadian females report suffering from some kind of long term pain. If one were to include older parts of the population, where chronic pain is more common, those numbers would likely climb even higher.

Long term pain is, in other words, a very real issue in Canada. But it’s also an issue in the United States and other countries around the world. Given the plethora of fitness tracking wearables out the market, it’s surprising to see that so few of them have tried to differentiate themselves by offering some kind of pain relief to chronic sufferers.

Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology

That’s where Quell, a new wearable from Boston-based NeuroMetrix, comes in. The device is currently going through the crowdfunding circuit with great success. As of the writing of this piece, its Indiegogo campaign, which has 12 days to go before its conclusion, has raised $339,763, surpassing its $100,000 goal by 340 per cent.

On the surface, Quell seems like a simple device. Once a person straps it onto their upper calf and turns it on, Quell will start to emit an electrical signal that travels to brain. In response, the brain will start to secrete endogenous opioids into the spine, which causes a natural pain relief response in the body.

According to Frank McGillin, while the device itself looks simple—it’s mostly a sports band, a power unit and an electrode—it’s taken the company some time to create something that anyone can wear.

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