As concerns grow about the abuse of pain medications, professionals and patients are looking first to non-chemical solutions. We saw several products in this category at CES 2019, including the Quell product from Neurometrix.
We’ve reported on this product in the past, and I met with CEO Shai Gozani at CES again this year. (We always seem to have some fascinating discussions when we get together at CES.) He introduced me to the Quell 2.0 which is an upgraded model of the original device. Like the original, it uses electrical stimulation on the upper calf to send nerve signals that serve to block pain sensation from other parts of the body.
The new model is half the size of the original, yet has the same battery life. The company had to develop its own custom chip to make the power last longer. According to the company’s website, it’s the only over-the-counter pain relief device that has been cleared by the FDA for overnight use, which means consumers can use it to relieve pain while sleeping.
The 2.0 version is adding some interesting features. First, the company is adding a digital therapy coach; the app will provide personalized education and encouragement to help users stick with the treatments. The app will use gamification and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to increase engagement.
The new version also calls on the massive amounts of user data that Neurometrix has already collected from other users. This information helps the system predict the correct therapy levels for individual users in order to deliver the best results.
The Quell device has already been proven to help users reduce pain and decrease their use of chemical pain management. Chronic pain is a serious problem for many people, and devices such as this given them an alternative to medicines such as opioids.