Pain is the second largest burden on the US health care system, and with the advent of the opioid epidemic it has become apparent that patients with chronic pain do not have sufficient treatment options. A proven non-pharmaceutical method of pain treatment is through nerve and spinal cord stimulators, which are devices that are implanted in the body and use electrical signals to control and modulate the perception of pain. In addition, patients report that their pain is controlled long after electrical stimulation has stopped, and the nerve stimulator market has grown to over $3Billion per year. However, these stimulators often require surgery to implant, can cost more than $30,000 and have excessively high failure rates which are estimated to be over 30%, requiring revision operations and rapidly increasing costs to over $100,000 for a single device.
73.6% (250m people) of the American Population is overweight or obese. Weight disorders place a significant burden on the healthcare system due to increased risk of deleterious disorders such as diabetes, kidney failure, liver failure, cardiovascular disease, and COVID-19. A key issue in reducing weight gain in the population is that weight loss therapies are not covered by insurance, unless patients are severely obese or possess multiple co-morbidities, requiring patients to pay nearly $1,500/month. Considering that persons in lower socio-economic standing are more likely to be overweight or obese, it is unsurprising that the prevalence of obesity continues to rise. These expensive weight loss therapies aim to alter an individual’s metabolism, which is very difficult to accomplish and often yields significant side effects with long-term use.
Stroke is an incredibly pervasive problem that directly affects one quarter of the world’s population. Unfortunately, many of these people are told they will never regain functional use of their arm or hand. With Reach, they will. One of our patients was able to cut food with a fork and knife and feed herself for the first time in 9 years since having her stroke. In contrast to existing assistive tools such as functional electrical stimulation, Reach’s device allows the user full control over complex and naturalistic movements. Advantages of the technology: • Assists movements in all upper limb joints • Restores naturalistic and voluntary movements • Immediate improvements • Assists users in performing tasks of daily living • Eligible for chronic stroke patients even years after their stroke • Uses standard implant device and surgical procedure • Does not require donning and doffing bulky equipment
Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) is viewed as an inevitable consequence of long-term ventilator support rather than a preventable infection. In fact, VAP develops in 1 out of 3 intubated patients in intermediate care units. Along with the high prevalence, VAP has an average mortality rate of almost 50%. As a result, hospitals utilize procedural steps to prevent VAP in patients (such as head elevation and maintaining oral hygiene), but these actions fail to adequately prevent the root cause of VAP which is that current endotracheal (ET) tubes, or breathing tubes, do not create a long-term and effective seal in the trachea to prevent bacteria from entering the lungs. These tubes fail to create a proper seal because they employ an inflatable cuff that (1) deflates over time, (2) does not maintain consistent contact with the airway surface, and (3) is susceptible to shifting position with every patient movement. These design flaws allow harmful bacteria to pass the cuff and enter the lungs of patients.