Wrist stimulators have been used for post op nausea and vomiting by anesthesiologists for many years now. Even though these devices are not the most effective or cost effective of therapies, if properly targeted for specific high risk patients, such wrist stims can be used as adjuncts for treatment of nausea and vomiting. Chicago based Neurowave Medical Technologies is releasing the Reletex, a new wrist-worn neuromodulation device. To be used as an adjunct to anti-emetics, the FDA cleared device generates electrical signals that affect the brain’s perception of nausea.
More about how the device works from the product page:
Reletex™ generates a proprietary programmed pulse that stimulates the neurons in the median nerve pathway creating an action potential. The cascading action potentials are sent via median nerve into the brachial plexus which then enter the cervical spinal cord and travel into the spinothalamic tract which sends signals to the brainstem. The action potentials created by Reletex™ reach the brainstem emetic control center.
The action potentials activate various key neurons within the brainstem emetic (vomiting) control center and may override or stimulate some of the gated ion channel movements created by emetic agonists. Neurons within the emetic center then create an action potential that regulates the GI tract via the vagus nerve. The interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC), known as the pacemakers of the GI tract, receive the action potentials via the vagus nerve.
The waveform of the action potentials sent to the ICC now directly affects the force and frequency of muscle contraction in the stomach. The now regulated stomach contractions allow relief from nausea and vomiting.
Press release: Neurowave Medical Technologies™ Introduces Reletex™, A Neuromodulation Device to Relieve Post-Operative Nausea
Product page: Reletex