MRI scans are one of many modern medical miracles; they let healthcare professionals create 3D images of the insides of a patient’s body. The technology is not without its risks and limitations, however. The acronym stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging; strong magnetic fields are applied, and then the way the body alters those magnetic fields create the data used to generate the images. This means that the patient cannot have any metal present that can be affected by magnetic fields. Even a tiny steel fragment can migrate in the body, with a potentially harmful results. This means that healthcare professionals must be very careful with patients who have metal or digital implants.
One type of implant that can cause concern is a peripheral nerve stimulator (PNS) that can help relieve chronic pain without the use of medications such as opioids. The device is implanted next to the spine, and typically have wires that connect the implant to an external controller. The wires and controller pose a serious problem when it comes to getting an MRI scan. That’s why recent news from Stimwave is so significant. The company has received FDA clearance for its wireless PNS device, including the use of full-body MRI scans. The tiny device is implanted using a minimally-invasive procedure, and receives power and controlling commands wirelessly from an external device. It generates electrical impulses that block pain signals as they transit the spinal cord.
Medical advances are important, but it is equally important to make sure that they get in each other’s way as little as possible. Stimwave clearly recognizes the potential negative interactions with their products during routine procedures, and solving the problems from their end simply makes their solutions available to more patients.