NeuroMetrix, a Waltham, Mass.-based healthcare company, has teamed with industrial-design specialist IDEO to develop Quell, a wearable treatment for such chronic ailments as nerve, arthritic, back, leg and foot pain. Using intensive nerve stimulation, the wearable device triggers relief and, in a clinical study, was found to reduce chronic pain and use of medication in the majority of users.
According to the company, the 60-day trial of Quell involved subjects whose average age was 56, and 45 percent were female. Most had experienced chronic pain for 1 to 10 years, with some suffering for more than 15 years. The subjects had three sites of pain on average and complex medical histories with arthritis, diabetes, sciatica and fibromyalgia as the most common.
NeuroMetrix approached Palo Alto, Calif.’s IDEO to help create the design, interaction and mechanical engineering of Quell. The main unit is placed in a lightweight sports band that fits on the upper calf and delivers the chronic-pain therapy. The patented technology is customized and automatically adjusts therapy dosage.
An accompanying app developed by Atomic Object of Grand Rapids, Mich., allows users to track treatment sessions, measure and understand the quality of their sleep as it relates to their pain, and personalize device settings.