NeuroMetrix Quell Connects You to Drug-Free Chronic Pain Relief

Connected health technology, tracking devices, biometrics, and anything else remotely related to a cough, cold, or sleep disturbances abound at CES 2017. Some look pretty suspect, while others appear to have some actual scientific merit behind them. NeuroMetrix was exhibiting the company’s Quell Wearable Pain Relief Technology. Here’s how NeuroMetrix tells it: “Quell combines neurotechnology to treat chronic pain with a sophisticated app to personalize and control therapy, while tracking progress.” At first glance, Quell looks like it’s a standard TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) device in a fancy leg wrap. But it’s quite a bit different than the little zap-happy, stick-on electrodes TENS users will be familiar with.

Quell’s electrodes are sewn into a special leg wrap that holds the included gel pads next to the sensory nerves just below your knee. When active, Quell stimulates these sensory nerves; and these nerves send neural pulses to your brain. The neural pulses induce a natural response that blocks chronic pain signals in your body. NeuroMetrix says that, because of its design and method of treatment, Quell is the “only pain relief device FDA cleared for use while sleeping.”

The Quell app and leg-wrapping device can measure the wearer’s progress regarding multiple health issues, including pain, activity, and gait—in addition to pain therapy and sleep tracking. In addition to a special calibration process used to personalize the Quell app, other personalization capabilities include time of day adjustments to incorporate circadian fluctuations, nighttime therapy applied on an “as needed” basis, and additional sensory stimulation patterns.

The $249 Quell Starter Kit includes the Quell device, an adjustable sports band, a one-month supply of electrodes (2), plus a charger cable and adapter. Quell Starter Kits are available now. (Unfortunately for me, Quell is not intended to treat migraines or headaches. Nor does it take away the pain associated with holiday dinners at your in-laws.)