Medtronic’s Collaboration with Samsung for Chronic Pain Management

by Parks Associates | Sep. 18, 2018

Written by Alexa Saldana, Research Intern at Parks Associates

Millions of Americans experience chronic pain and the challenges that follow with managing and mitigating discomfort. Parks Associates’ 360 View: Health and Independent Living finds that 60% of heads of U.S. broadband households have a chronic condition. Medical device manufacturers are looking to optimize user-friendly devices that benefit patients and providers. Medtronic, one of the largest medical device manufacturers, recently partnered with Samsung to bring effective back pain relief directly to consumers.

Medtronic’s Intellis Platform utilizes a neurostimulator implant that sends electrical signals to the spinal cord which inhibits pain signals from reaching the brain. The implant can be paired with a Samsung tablet and controlled by an app. Physicians are able to control the voltage, current, and location of electrical signals depending on the patient’s needs. Since the clinician app collects data about the patient’s physical activity, orientation, and position, physicians are able to make decisions about pain management based on an individual’s situation. This personalized interaction between patient and provider delivers accurate pain management strategies and offers a solution for people struggling with chronic pain. Patients essentially have on-demand pain management directly from their home.

This type of deliverable personalized care is what makes the Medtronic-Samsung collaboration particularly effective. Senior marketing director of Medtronic, Jim Willenbring, said, “In the body, you can measure heart rate, lung function, blood sugar – many different things can be measured objectively. But with pain, there is no objective measurement.” In other words, it’s necessary to have an effective GUI that helps physicians visualize patient data in order to make accurate healthcare decisions. This is where Samsung comes in. Samsung’s user-friendly interfaces on tablets and smartphones play a critical role in delivering individualized care.

Medtronic is leveraging Samsung’s widely used devices to connect patients and providers. Through the clinician’s app, physicians can control the intensity and frequency of electrical signals to patients’ spinal cords. In an effort to manage the chronic back pain population, Medtronic and Samsung merged two spheres of healthcare and technology and created an advanced and convenient pain treatment therapy solution.

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