An innovative, new clinical project to examine the effects of the use of bioelectrical technology for pain management in patients waiting for knee replacement surgery, will launch this October.
The six-month project is a collaboration between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre (ATiC), The TriTech Institute at Hywel Dda University Health Board (TriTech) and bioelectric technology pioneers NuroKor BioElectronics.
It is supported by Life Sciences Hub Wales through Accelerate, a £24million co-funded programme by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government. The project will review the effectiveness and possible health economic benefits of NuroKor’s electroceutical therapy in the management of patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
The wearable technology uses bioelectric nerve stimulation to deliver personalised pain relief, recovery support and rehabilitation to patients.
Since the pandemic, NHS surgery waiting lists are at an all-time high, with some patients waiting more than two years. People awaiting knee replacements and other surgical interventions currently only have access to traditional pain management options such as medication and physiotherapy. NuroKor’s mediliev Rx device could present an alternative and effective pain management option to improve the quality of life for people waiting for a medical procedure.
As part of the project, ATiC will work with NuroKor to discover and define the needs and experiences of people living with osteoarthritis who are awaiting knee replacement surgery. The user experience and usability of the current mediliev Rx will be evaluated to provide NuroKor with insights that can be applied in the development of new electrotherapy technologies.
TriTech will focus on assessing the potential benefits to patients and the health service of both the existing technology and any emerging bioelectronic products, for self-management of chronic pain, in addition to the impact on quality of life, mobility and mental health.
Rick Rowan, CEO and Founder of NuroKor BioElectronics commented:
“The launch of this collaboration is incredibly exciting and provides an alternative option for people facing longer waiting times for surgery. It brings together medical professionals, engineers, scientists and researchers. The study is a key project for NuroKor, as we continue to demonstrate how non-invasive neuromodulation offers a solution for pain sufferers and healthcare professionals while improving efficiency and savings for pressured healthcare systems.”
Dr Sean Jenkins, Associate Professor and ATiC Principal Innovation Fellow, UWTSD, said:
“This exciting new project is an excellent example of tripartite collaboration between the private enterprise, university and health sectors, supported by the ERDF-funded Accelerate programme. We are especially pleased to collaborate with Hywel Dda UHB’s newly-established TriTech Institute to deliver a real-world service and usability evaluation.
The anticipated outcomes of this evaluation will deliver a significant impact in the treatment of chronic pain by assisting people to self-manage symptoms at home, bringing long-term economic health benefits to the NHS
Professor Chris Hopkins, Head of TriTech and Consultant Clinical Scientist, Hywel Dda UHB, said :
“We have a special partnership with ATiC and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. We are very much looking forward to collaborating with NuroKor in order to examine the impact of this technology on our osteoarthritis patients awaiting knee replacement surgery.”
Gareth Healey, Head of Accelerate at Life Sciences Hub Wales, said:
“We are delighted that the Accelerate programme is supporting NuroKor by helping to cultivate cross-sector collaboration. Multi-partner projects like this one are key for investigating the potential health and wellbeing benefits for patients and economic benefits for our health and social care systems. We look forward to our continued partnership with NuroKor, ATiC, and TriTech as we explore future collaborative opportunities.”
NuroKor has opened a research and development centre at Tramshed Tech, in Cardiff – a hub for start-ups, scale-ups and large enterprises in the tech world – as part of the programme.