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Sunday, January 11, 2015

CES 2015: Quell Promises Pain Relief with New FDA-Approved Gadget

Quell is a new gadget that promises pain relief. It attaches to a user’s
calf and emits electronic signals that boost the body's opiate production.

(Photo : Business Wire)

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A new gadget revealed at CES 2015 promises to provide pain relief through technology. The device, dubbed Quell, attaches to the user's calf and stimulates the body's opiate production to relieve pain from various ailments.

When most people think of pain relief, they think of some sort of pill ingested internally, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or similar over the counter product. For more serious pain, there are prescription medicines available, but they can be highly addictive, have many serious side effects, and have a large potential for abuse.

Quell promises an external source of pain relief. The unit attaches to the user's calf, which the makers of the Quell consider a "virtual USB port," and electrodes stimulate the wearer's body to release pain-relieving opiates. The sensory nerves it stimulates send neural pulses to the brain that trigger the release of endogenous opioids, the pain-relief response that blocks pain signals in the spine. The process is called Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation technology, also known as TENS. There are already over-the-counter TENS systems such as the one made by Icy Hot, but these are very low-powered and low-tech compared with Quell.

Quell is also much more expensive, but manufacturer NeuroMetrix, a health-care company that develops...

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