The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports:
… a frustration in his line of work inspired Dr. Phil Cory, a local anesthesiologist, to start Nervonix. He needed a way to better locate nerves for regional anesthesia and has developed a medical device to make that process easier.
“Up until now, regional anesthesia has been an art,” he said. “People who can’t do it well find it frustrating.”
The Nervonix device includes a series of electrodes that transmit an image of peripheral nerves to a computer screen. It can be used for management of chronic pain, will reduce recovery time from surgery and could ultimately reduce the mortality and morbidity rates associated with general anesthesia.
They meant regional anesthesia, of course. Peripheral blocks are known to have some serious side effects. The damage to nerves and adjacent structures can happen. An intravenous or an intraarterial injection of local anesthetic can result in systemic failure (i.e. seizures or dangerous arrhythmias) and, possibly, death.
So how does Nervonix technology work? Here are some answers, directly from the company:
The proprietary NERVONIX Nerve Imaging Technology is based on the ability of nerves to alter tissue distribution parameters of electrical fields. Since depolarization of the neuronal cell membrane is not required for this effect, extremely low-intensity electrical fields can be employed for image construction. Impedance changes measured at the skin surface are translated into data to pinpoint and construct a two-dimensional image of the underlying nerve structures, which appear in the form of peaks on a topographical map. The highest impedance levels show up as the brightest peaks on the map. The technology operates non-invasively and without any unpleasant sensations.
NERVONIX nerve image (left) and anatomic drawing (right) of the sacrum, a bony structure in the lower back. The box on the right indicates the approximate position of the imaging. The six white peaks in the image indicate nerve tissue associated with the sacrum; additional peaks on the left were associated with a painful clinical process. No other, existing technology provides such images and information.