Partly in response to the opioid crisis, medtechs across the nation have ramped up development of devices that aim to manage pain without exposing patients to the risk of drug addiction.
Opioid misuse has been rising nationwide since the 1990s, since the widespread production of painkillers such as Oxycontin that weren’t initially deemed addictive. However, the drugs ended up creating dependencies, leading to nearly a half million U.S. deaths from overdoses between 2000 and 2014 alone.
To combat that, medtechs and other entrepreneurs have been exploring innovations that help address pain in less drug-intensive ways. A few examples:
Perhaps even better news for patients? Many pain control alternatives may be covered by insurance.
“These therapies are covered by Medicare, insurance and worker’s comp, so people have the ability to have [them] paid for,” Medtronic exec Dr. Marshall Stanton recently said in reference to implantable devices. “It’s just a question of getting physicians to understand these are options.”
View this short video explaining what pain is and how to address it: