The device is called Quell, and it is made by a company called Neurometrix. It is worn around the user’s calf, and when activated emits electrical signals that stimulate nerves and supposedly prompts your brain to emit pain-relieving opiates — essentially utilizing your own brain chemistry to block pain signals. The device is supposed to relieve pain no matter where in your body that you hurt.
The Quell can be worn under clothing and can work 24 hours a day, or as often as the user wants. It connects via bluetooth with your smartphone, letting you control and monitor the amount of pain relief, as well as providing feedback on your sleep patterns (much like other popular wearables like Fitbit and Jawbone).
The device got a lot of attention at CES. Below is a video from CNET featuring it, and Techtimes also covered it.
Chronic pain is an intractable problem for diseases like chronic pancreatitis. If effective, devices like Quell could offer a much safer solution than opiates, which are addictive and dangerous. The solution is also more cost effective for both the patient and the healthcare system — the Quell is expected to cost $250.
The device has been approved by the FDA, but is not yet commercially available. The company says that it expects to start shipping in spring of this year. Stay tuned — if it works, it could be a game changer.