While it’s cool to own a fitness tracker or smartwatch just for the toy aspect, these can actually do a lot of good. The latest story comes from DyAnsys which just received FDA approval for a new wearable.
The wearable is called “Drug Relief” and is a “wearable auricular neurostimulation device”. This is designed to help treat symptoms for those suffering from opioid withdrawal.
The Opioid Epidemic Continues
The move comes as no surprise considering that the US has been dealing with an opioid epidemic. According to a recent report, there are at least 42,000 deaths from opioid overdoses per year.
This is a staggering number and one crisis that the FDA is currently attempting to combat. Another study showed that different types of wearables would be able to assist in the fight.
It is already difficult enough to get just one person clean and out of the world of opioids. However, it’s even more difficult to keep those folks from relapsing and going back.
Opioids are not just limited to synthetic drugs and heroin. But are also found in prescription drugs such as OxyContin, codeine, and morphine, which are regularly prescribed for those in severe pain.
Prescription painkillers have been described as “one of the primary drivers of the epidemic”. This was due to the sheer rate of doctor’s overprescribing these different painkillers.
This new wearable from DyAnsys is a “non-addictive treatment”. The intention is for the user to wear the device for 120 hours, or about 5 days.
However, Drug Relief is not just something you can put on your wrist. Instead, the device is worn on the head, and then needles are inserted at three different points around the ear.
Previous studies have shown that users “experience a reduction in drug withdrawal” in just 30 to 60 minutes. But continued use of Drug Relief device can minimize other treatments. There is hope that the new device will remove the need for “opioid agonist treatment”.
Currently, Drug Relief is now available to specific providers here in the US. Meanwhile, it is being distributed in the European Union with the help of the DyAnsys European Branch.
Acupuncture could be the answer
Drug Relief from DyAnsys is not the first acupuncture-oriented wearable to come to market. There is another device called the NSS-2 Bridge, which was cleared in 2014.
Innovative Health Solutions, the company behind the Bridge, recently received marketing authorization. The NSS-2 Bridge and Drug Relief aim to help fight opioid withdrawal symptoms.
What is the FDA doing?
The FDA is constantly working to help get the opioid epidemic under control. A new innovation challenge was announced a few weeks ago.
This challenge hopes to get developers on board to “build new devices, tests, apps, and other technologies.”. There is also hope that more devices like Drug Relief and NSS-2 Bridge continue to be developed.