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6 Products that Could Help Tackle Pain

As patients and advocates mark National Pain Awareness Month, keep an eye on these potential solutions.

  • September is National Pain Awareness Month, and it’s a timely distinction this year as this summer has seen a number of medtech efforts to manage or alleviate pain. Click through our slideshow to see the latest developments, from apps to clinical studies to FDA clearance.

    [Image source: Shutterstock/Pfeiffer]
  • ReActiv8-B

    Mainstay Medical International PLC is working toward a launch in the United States of ReActiv8, an implantable restorative neurostimulation system to treat continuing chronic low back pain. (ReActiv8 is already commercially available in Europe.) An implanted pulse generator delivers stimulation to the medial branch of the dorsal ramus nerves to make the multifidus muscle contract, and self-anchoring leads are placed adjacent to these nerves, Mainstay shared in a June 2018 presentation. The company calls the procedure “minor” and “reversible.”

    Earlier this summer it announced that 204 patients were implanted in its U.S. IDE clinical study entitled ReActiv8-B. “Completing all implants in the ReActiv8-B study is a significant step for Mainstay and represents continued momentum in our efforts to bring ReActiv8 to patients in the US. We remain on track to have full study data towards the end of 2018,” said Mainstay CEO Jason Hannon in a statement. The study is intended to gather data in support of a pre-market approval (PMA) application expected to be submitted to FDA in early 2019. Mainstay will release its 2018 half-year results on September 21.

    [Image courtesy of Mainstay Medical International PLC]
  • Draper Gemstones

    Draper has developed the Gemstones neuromodulation system featuring implants that are 20 times smaller than existing implants, the company reported. Their size and connectivity could suit them for a number of uses, including pain treatment.

    “Draper’s Gemstones system's miniature size and networked capabilities make it well-suited to connect to residual nerves in amputees to restore movement and touch through advanced neuroprosthetics,” Jesse J. Wheeler, Draper’s neurotechnology business lead, told MD+DI. “In addition to restoring limb function, the patients may also experience alleviation of phantom limb pain as residual nerves regain normal function. The Gemstones could also provide new capabilities in responsive treatment of chronic pain in applications like spinal stimulation.”

    [Image courtesy of Draper]
  • ManagingLife

    A randomized controlled clinical trial examining the effectiveness of the Transitional Pain Service Program (TPSP) at five Ontario hospitals has licensed "Manage My Pain," an app-based chronic pain management and monitoring tool. The 3-year trial will employ the app along with other methods to help patients manage pain and wean themselves off opioids in the months after major surgery, it was reported in a news release.

    "There is a need to use all the tools we have at our disposal to help patients manage their pain after surgery," stated Dr. Hance Clarke, principal investigator of the clinical trial and medical director of pain services at the University Health Network, in the release. "Manage My Pain is a strong complement to the variety of methods we use for pain management and opioid weaning within the TPSP."

    [Image courtesy of ManagingLife]
  • gammaCore Sapphire

    This summer electroCore Inc. launched gammaCore Sapphire, the next-generation of gammaCore (non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator or nVNS) for the acute treatment of pain associated with migraine and episodic cluster headache. gammaCore stimulates the nerve’s fibers when placed on a patient’s neck over the vagus nerve, reducing pain, the company reported in a news release

    “gammaCore Sapphire offers more convenience to patients with an enhanced designed and added functionalities that make the therapy application more seamless and even more patient-centric than the device’s previous generation,” said Dan Duhart, Chief Commercial Officer of electroCore, in the statement. “Constantly innovating to deliver the next-generation device is just one example of our commitment to providing relief to patients suffering from the debilitating pain of migraine and episodic cluster headache.”   

    Frank Amato, CEO of electroCore, told MD+DI this summer that “the benefit electroCore is ultimately bringing to the marketplace is that it believes the safest way to treat a patient is to do it outside of the body noninvasively." 

    [Image courtesy of electroCore Inc.]
  • Toothpic

    Fear of dental pain might keep some patients from visiting the dentist, but could a new app encourage patients to visit before pain starts? The app Toothpic uses six photos taken by smartphone camera to provide an oral health evaluation from a remote dentist within 24 hours and then help connect users with a vetted dentist in their area.

    “People don’t care about their dental health until something goes wrong,” said Mark Moore, founder and CEO of Toothpic, in a statement. “More than half of Americans haven’t been to the dentist in the last year. It’s frustrating too, because for the most part, dental pain is completely preventable. We want to provide people with a simple way to stay on top of their oral health. Toothpic is a secure solution for people to get instant access to independent advice without the pain, inconvenience and time of visiting or searching for a dentist.” Toothpic is now available for download on iOS and Android.

    [Image courtesy of Toothpic]
  • Oska Wellness

    Oska Wellness announced that it will donate $10.00 for each Oska Pulse sold to the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association during "Pain Awareness Month." . Oska Pulse is a wearable designed to help reduce muscle stiffness, temporarily relieve minor pain, and increase mobility for people who have acute or chronic pain, the company stated.

    "We are thrilled to partner with and to participate in this worthwhile endeavor," said Greg Houlgate, founder, chief business development and product officer for Oska Wellness, in a news release. "Our partnership with and makes it easy for people with chronic pain to find the Oska Pulse at these leading online health retail outlets, while benefitting the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association."

    Added Jan Chambers, president of National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association: "For people with serious chronic pain, we are seeing a paradigm shift towards preventing and treating chronic pain with self-management tools as part of an overall pain management program in doctor's offices. An effective toolkit helps patients achieve and maintain a higher quality of life and function with less pain. As well as research, a lot of interest in Oska from NFCPA members helps us identify up and coming effective treatments."

    [Image courtesy of Oska Wellness]

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of MD+DI. She previously served as executive editor of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News, which serves as the pharmaceutical and medical device channel of Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered medical device manufacturing, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues as well as pharmaceutical packaging and labeling for more than 20 years. She is also a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals's Medical Device Packaging Technical Committee. Follow her on Twitter at @daphneallen.


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