The connection between the mind, body, and soul plays an integral role in our overall health and well-being. Our emotions, experiences, habits, and actions play a part in mind-body harmony and wellness.
So today we kick off the new year by celebrating International Mind-Body Wellness Day with a focus on bioelectronic medicine’s role in providing personalized care with drug-free treatment options for people who suffer from chronic conditions such as headaches, anxiety, and seasonal allergies.
Bioelectronic medicine (neurotechnology) – the use of small amounts of electrical or other forms of stimulation rather than drugs to treat disorders – has opened many exciting opportunities to deliver targeted therapies without chemical or systemic side effects.
According to JoJo Platt, Neurotech Strategist and President of Platt & Associates, Inc., “In the mental health and wellness space, there are minimally-invasive, drug-free treatment options using neurotechnology to stimulate the brain and treat mental disorders with staggering results that have the potential to significantly change lives.
“There is also a big push to offer personalized treatments using closed-loop devices which track and monitor real-time data on treatment, therapy, and outcomes that patients can share with their doctor. This results in reducing the amount of time it takes for patients to experience much better results with far fewer side effects, less downtime, and time investment overall,” added Platt.
Platt pointed out that regardless of the healthcare sector – whether in psychiatry or internal medicine – it can be time-consuming to book an appointment and see your doctor because the number of physicians entering the workforce versus those who are exiting is not in the consumer’s favor, so this puts a lot of pressure on healthcare providers.
“The availability of specialized clinicians is declining at the same time that current demand is increasing. And future imbalances between supply and demand will only get worse. There is an increasing need for solutions that require less engagement and interaction with healthcare practitioners, instead of more. Clinician accessibility is particularly challenging in rural areas, and also given our growing aging population in the U.S., we need to look beyond telehealth and incorporate technology that will reach more people, provide personalized care, and improve outcomes overall.” continued Platt.
While safety and efficacy come first, Platt adds that, “It’s equally important for regulators and payers to consider solutions that serve as ‘force multipliers’ – to address clinical supply and demand as well as to reduce costs and optimize the time that physicians spend with their patients. The current standard of care – prescribing drugs with increased monitoring burden and usually with a significant risk of side effects is no longer the only solution.”
Several examples of such minimally invasive, personalized devices focused on mental health and wellness include:
- Cala Health has a wearable device, Cala Trio™ that looks like a smartwatch and delivers individualized peripheral nerve stimulation to treat essential tremors.
- Companies like Roga have produced non-invasive devices worn as earbuds and designed to treat headaches, stress, and anxiety by promoting relaxation and calmness.
- Sana Health makes ocular glasses that use audiovisual stimulation (light and sound) to provide pain relief, reduce anxiety, and promote deep relaxation.
- ClearUP® by Tivic Health is an over-the-counter handheld device that treats allergic sinusitis, sinus pain, and congestion that patients can use anytime, anywhere.
- NXTSTIM’s EcoAI™ device is used for pain relief, rehabilitation, or muscle relaxation, and comes with an app that collects data, and provides closed-loop personalized treatments that enable patients to use it at their convenience – at home or on the go.
- Vively’s arm patch monitors glucose levels and helps people understand how their diet and lifestyle affect their metabolic health in real-time.
- Reliefband’s wearable device treats nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, migraines, anxiety, chemotherapy, and hangovers.
To sum up, Platt says, “With the proliferation of the Apple Watch and Fitbit devices, consumers are excited about taking a peek under the hood, to see the impact of their daily activities and how they can tweak this to optimize outcomes and achieve lifestyle improvements – from improving sleep to choosing the best type of exercise. The feedback we’re capturing in our watches today holds a tremendous opportunity to make our data more transparent, actionable, and relevant to our health.”