The FDA has cleared Abbott‘s Proclaim XR neurostimulation system; this allows the company to market its long-term chronic pain relief implant as an alternative to pharmaceutical options. Neurostimulation relieves pain by interrupting pain signals on their way from the spinal cord to the brain. According to the CDC, 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain, which means Abbott has a massive opportunity to improve their quality of life.

The Abbott neurostim system applies the lowest effective doses of a proprietary waveform called BurstDR. This mimics natural electrical pulse patterns in the brain. In an earlier study, Abbott demonstrated that low-energy BurstDR dosing for six hours a day was 100% effective in providing pain relief with 24 patients. Even with just two hours of neurostim, 50% of the patients reported relief from pain.

After a surgeon implants the Proclaim XR device in the patient’s lower back near the spinal cord, a software-upgradeable mobile app determines the optimal dosing intensity and duration. With the low-energy pulses active for the least possible effective number of hours, the implant’s battery can last up to 10 years, avoiding the inconvenience of frequent recharging.

Aboott has submitted Proclaim XR for review for CE Mark so patients in Europe can also benefit from this opioid-alternative that can bring up to a decade of pain relief.