Wearable Tech Moves Into Medical Device Territory

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This week, crowdfunding site Indiegogo released news of "the world's first pain relief" wearable, positioning wearable tech to become a major player in the medical device category, new territory for the new tech phenomenon of wearable technology.
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The device is called Quell and its founders are based in Boston. They have so far raised more than $114,000 on Indiegogo for their campaign. They have a month left but have already raised 114 percent of their crowdfunding goal.

According to their crowdfund page, Quell is the only FDA approved device that can relieve chronic pain with just a button push. Also, it is doctor recommended, 100 percent drug free and results have been clinically proven, the page says.

"Inspired by technology used in doctor’s offices, our revolutionary technology helps you regain control over your pain so you can get on with your life," the pitch on the page continues.

How does it work? The device uses something called OptiTherapy™ that automatically adjusts to deliver stimulation and provide relief the person wearing the device that works with your smartphone. First, it stimulates sensory nerves that will carry neural pulses with them to the brain, then those pulses trigger a natural response to block pain in the body. There is an electrode that is strapped to the back of the device, which can be worn in a breathable band. The band wraps around the user's calf.

The founders claim you can feel relief in as little as 15 minutes. The device calibrates to your preferred stimulation level to give you the right amount of pain relief. It will also track your sleep quality and therapy sessions through a Bluetooth Smart connected iOS app. You do not need a smartphone to use Quell but the features are there.
Batteries are rechargeable and provide up to 40 hours of therapy on one charge, the founders say.

It is unclear whether or not the device will become available in hospitals.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Wellcome Images, a website operated by Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation based in the United Kingdom.

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