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Quell Wearable Device – An Impressive Advance for Treating Chronic Pain

Twitter Summary: Quell chronic pain device brings innovative solution for diabetic nerve pain – available now at $249 w/out need for prescription

One of the highlights of this year’s ADA Exhibit Hall was NeuroMetrix’s Quell chronic pain management device. Quell is the over the counter version (no prescription needed) of a previous NeuroMetrix device called Sensus – it uses nerve stimulation to treat multiple types of chronic pain, including diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Quell stands out as one of the only FDA cleared non-drug therapies for chronic pain relief, eliminating many of the side effects that come with common pain medications. The device first debuted at the Consumer Electronic Show in January, and it is now shipping to customers as of last week. Quell is available for purchase online here at $249 for the device itself, followed by $30 for each month’s worth of supplies.  

Quell is worn in a strap that wraps around the upper calf, sending electrical pulses through the skin to the sensory nerves that in turn signal the brain to trigger the body’s natural pain relief response, blocking pain signals throughout the body. It is similar conceptually to TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), but developed in a completely wearable form factor and is much more sophisticated, stronger, and optimized for diabetes nerve pain. It can be worn for long periods of time, including during sleep – a major advantage, as pain can often be particularly burdensome at night, limiting sleep. The device itself is about the same thickness as an iPhone 5, is relatively lightweight, and its strap resembles a sports band that can easily be hidden under clothes. Impressively, NeuroMetrix teamed up with the renowned IDEO design team when creating Quell, leading to its patient-friendly and innovative look.

Quell is also Bluetooth-connected to a smartphone app that tracks the treatment time (“treatments” come in 60-minute on/off intervals), battery life (conveniently displayed as number of treatments left in addition to battery percentage, e.g. “75%, battery, 15 treatments left”), and even sleep quality. The app is easy to navigate through and has big and easy-to-read font. Quell can also last for 40 hours before needing to be plugged in to recharge.

Anecdotally, we have heard that Sensus has been a game changer for many patients with chronic pain, and Quell’s direct-to-consumer model should certainly help expand its access to more people dealing with neuropathy and other forms of chronic pain. User experience and pain relief data on Quell will be very informative, and we were told at ADA that these surveys are currently underway. Pain from diabetic neuropathy can be absolutely debilitating, and we really hope many patients will benefit from this new option. For more information, a company video demonstrating how Quell works can be found here. -AJW

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