MedGizmo: Wearables for Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is very common inflammatory joint disorder that results in joint pain and swelling, stiffness, and fatigue. According to some data in the U.K. it affects approximately 400,000 adults; and about 1.5 million adults in the U.S.A. For a good number of years opioid pain medications were the only way to deal with it, however, Healthcare Wearables are now in place that can substitute them. Still, if we compare the number of solutions, it is drastically lower, than for other conditions (e.g. diabetes). In this short post we will have a look at some of them. Wearable “electrotherapy” devices for pain relief have one major advantage – they may not cause as many side effects; beside that they can be much more selective.
For those interested, I suggest to go to the Arthritis Foundation’s Web-page with abundance of useful information and this helpful interactive image:
Where Does It Hurt? Lookup by Body Part
Just click on the body part that’s in pain
Learn about this body part, what can go wrong, and how to care for it
Here is a good presentation by Dr. Linda Li - Web, Apps and Wearables: Tools for Joint Health?
The most popular at this time and much discussed is Quell - the first wearable to use nerve stimulation to reduce chronic pain, not just at the clinic but during the day as you go about your normal routine. It helps those suffering from diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, fibromyalgia and sciatica, and other serious ailments. The patch-like wearable lasts 40 hours per charge; using an app, one can track pain levels and sleep patterns.
Quell is a revolutionary new technology, wearable intensive nerve stimulation (WINS), that is clinically proven to manage chronic pain. Quell is FDA cleared for use during the day while active and at night while sleeping - so you can regain control and get on with your life. Worn just below the knee and activated by simply clicking a button, Quell taps into your body’s natural pain control system to block pain signals and provides widespread pain relief. It’s that powerful.
AcuKnee System, Advanced Knee Pain and Knee Osteoarthritis Treatment
AcuKnee™ gives patients the freedom and ability to treat themselves daily without the need for medication or unnecessary visits to the doctor by activating the body’s natural pain-relieving mechanisms. The product is the first dual channel, FDA cleared electrotherapy device dedicated to the treatment of knee pain. Following exhaustive refinement and clinical testing, this proprietary dual frequency system has been shown to be highly effective for a wide variety of conditions:
- Early osteoarthritis
- Overuse syndromes
- Knee ligament strains
- Chondromalacia Patella (CP)
- Ilio tibial band (ITB)
- Patella femoral syndrome
- Jumper’s knee
- Post ACL repair pain
- Post knee replacement pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Pre-knee replacement with SmartPreHab
News reports tell about electrical implants for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis
The implants, which are embedded in the necks of patients and can be turned on and off at will, work by stimulating the vagus nerve which runs down the body from the brain to the spleen.
Researchers in the Netherlands, working with the British drugs company GlaxoSmithKline, said that more than half of a group of 20 patients who took part in the study experienced significantly fewer symptoms of arthritic joint pain during the trial.
The implant is a small pacemaker-like device implanted under the skin that sends electrical signals to electrodes surgically inserted into the neck adjacent to the vagus nerve, which scientists believe is involved in regulating that activity of the immune system through the spleen.
SetPoint Medical has developed a platform for treating inflammation by Nnuromodulation - for patients with debilitating inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn's Disease and rheumatoid arthritis, using proprietary implantable neuromodulation devices.
SetPoint's microregulator is designed to supplement the body's natural Inflammatory Reflex by providing 'built-in' therapy at a lower cost and is intended to improve safety compared with drugs or biologic solutions. SetPoint's proprietary neuromodulation platform consists of an implantable microregulator, wireless charger and iPad prescription pad application.
SetPoint is using its neuromodulation platform to develop safe and effective alternative therapies to target other diseases.
And lets us have a look at some useful applications
Track when your joints are sore and stiff and follow your pain over time to see when it’s most severe. You can track your activities and which days RA keeps you home from work. Send the data to your doctor to help fine-tune your treatment. RheumaTrack also includes helpful reminders to take your medicine, so you’ll never forget. RheumaTrack® RA is a personal digital patient diary with the following functions:
• Protocol for pain according to visual analog scale (VAS)
• Individual medication planner
• Function documentation with simple function survey (according to FFbH)
• Protocol for pain and pain localization
• Lucid illustration of the pain diary as a history, list or calendar
• Documentation of morning stiffness
• Documentation of sports activities, infection times and inability to work
• Reminder function for pain value recording, medication intake, checks & doctor’s visits
• Functional and intuitive user guidance
• Extensive statistical evaluation
• Notes function for pain value entry
• Code lock against undesired access
• Export of data for archiving and printing for entries, checks and medication intake
• Export of data in an email as a CSV file (for import e.g. to Excel) or in PDF format
@Hand: Rheumatology Checklist
@Hand: Rheumatology Checklist presents the differential diagnosis of the most common and important rheumatic diseases, in a convenient, easy-to-use checklist format to ensure you have evaluated all possibilities. Lab work-up recommendations and a step-wise outline of the treatment options are also included. This is an invaluable program for all Rheumatology specialists. Features included in this resource: - Did you Consider? - Don't Miss – Dangerous Situations - Commonly Encountered Situations - Clinical Considerations - Lab work-up recommendations - Step-wise outline of therapeutic modalities and treatment optionsIncluded in this app is a list of all your treatment choices, as well as the advantages of each choice. You’ll learn what to expect when you take a particular medicine, from potential improvements to possible side effects. You’ll also learn how to know if your treatment is working, and whether it may be time to switch to another drug.
RheumaHelper is a mobile rheumatology assistant. It provides a complete toolbox of disease activity calculators and classification criteria the informed rheumatologist can reference during day-to-day work. Easy to use and always with you on your mobile phone, RheumaHelper is the perfect tool for rheumatologists.
RheumaHelper is designed for rheumatologists, but anyone with a solid knowledge of RA can use it. The app, which is promoted as “a mobile rheumatology assistant,” includes a long list of arthritis conditions, including RA.
The app includes disease activity calculators and classification criteria for various conditions.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) @Point of Caretm Edition
Rheumatoid Arthritis @Point of Care™, featuring Philip J. Mease, MD as Editor-in-Chief, is a clinical support platform that provides comprehensive information on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of RA, made up of a progressive series of chapters and other learning tools. It provides multimedia offerings, contextual expansion of content developed by expert faculty, and many features to personalize learning, such as bookmarking, highlighting, note taking, and search.
The program includes close examination of critical topics and issues that affect patient care, and includes chapters on:
•Etiology and Pathophysiology
•Efficacy and Safety of Current and Emerging TherapiesThe app was originally designed to offer continuing medical education credit to healthcare professionals like rheumatologists and nurse practitioners, so the information it contains is well researched and trustworthy.
Image by MedGizmo