For patients living with chronic pain, spinal chord stimulatiom (SCS) can provide relief by providing small electrical currents to the spine. Traditionally, these devices have been connected by wires to batteries, often requiring lengthy surgical procedures. Stimwave Technologies has developed a tiny wireless device that is so small that it can be implanted using a quick, minimally-invasive outpatient procedure. It can be smaller than one-inch long, and can be injected simply using a needle.
Power is provided wirelessly by an external pack using radio frequency emissions. The controller is programmed wirelessly by a clinician using a Bluetooth connection. The power pack is uniquely paired with the implant, so another controller cannot activate the implant. One power pack can energize more than one implant, however, so multiple implants can be used if a patient needs more stimulation. The system has the added advantage of being safe during MRI scans.
The system has received FDA approval, and will be available in the U.S. starting in January, 2015. The system is already available in Europe.