BOSTON, Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- An overwhelming majority of Americans who have received electrostimulation therapy as a drug-free alternative to treat pain have become firm believers, according to new research.
A national survey of more than 1,000 consumers conducted by BewellConnect, a connected health company that is moving the industry to a new frontier of healthcare, found that approximately 60 percent of Americans have had to seek treatments for back pain, bad knees, and a host of other injuries. Upon receiving treatment, nearly half (47 percent) received some form of electrostimulation treatment – such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) or Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) – to manage pain and recovery.
Perhaps the most surprising finding was that of those who received electrostimulation treatments, nearly 90 percent said the treatments were helpful in their recoveries.
A TENS wearable medical device is designed to relieve pain with pulses that stimulate skin and nerve strands, blocking pain signals from the brain. EMS works by activating muscles through a comfortable stimulation and is typically used for muscle rebuilding and repair.
While these devices have traditionally been in the domain of physical therapists and healthcare providers, the technology is now widely available to consumers for at-home use thanks to technological advances in portability. A new generation of electrostimulation devices is now giving users more freedom to move thanks to the built-in wireless communications and intelligences for use with smartphone apps.
Growing awareness of pain medication addiction may contribute to the technology's popularity, the survey found. When asked why they would consider purchasing an electrostimulation device, reducing the need for pain medications was the second most cited reason across all demographics (27 percent) and the number one reason among women (32 percent).
Similarly, affordability and the ability for consumers to practice self-care were major drivers of consumer adoption. Nearly 35 percent of respondents said that reducing visits to a healthcare provider would be their main motivation for acquiring a device.
"People want to play a greater role in their own pain management with drug-free alternatives. Advances in mobile-connected health technologies are making it possible," said Olivier Hua, CEO of BewellConnect. "This study shows that, given the option, most patients would welcome the opportunity to manage their own pain relief and muscle stimulation with electrostimulation therapies."
Much like the industry they are designed to streamline, digital health devices often remain siloed, cumbersome to use, and do not provide clear, actionable paths to better health. BewellConnect has set out to solve these challenges – not through the manufacturing of devices, but with a suite of healthcare services of which FDA-approved products are a component. The connected health devices are used to monitor patient progress and send the information back to the physician, resulting in patients who are more educated and empowered to take an active role in their healthcare. Additionally, the data-sharing helps to alleviate some of the strain on medical professionals' PCPs who are often overloaded and unable to gather or sort simple data from their patients. This allows both patients and physicians to monitor the data in one place, and work together to monitor and improve patient health. For more information, go to www.bewell-connect.us.