On April 6, 2021, Twin Cities Pain Clinic became the first healthcare organization in the state of Minnesota to integrate Abbott’s NeuroSphereTM Virtual Clinic for patients receiving stimulation therapy to treat chronic pain disorders. The first-of-its-kind remote patient care system, recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, allows patients to communicate with physicians and specialists, ensure proper settings and functionality, and program new treatment settings, from anywhere.
Dr. Sherri Haas, Assistant Medical Director of Twin Cities Pain Clinic, performed the first procedure using the NeuroSphere interface, remotely reprogramming the settings on a patient’s Abbott spinal cord stimulator.
What is remote patient care?
Essentially, it is the simple but revolutionary concept of providing healthcare virtually, using modern technology. The most well-known example of this is telemedicine, where a patient can visit with their healthcare provider from anywhere, using the speakers and camera on their smart phone, tablet or computer. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance of remote medicine and the need to develop new ways to utilize this technology to offer safer and more complete care to a wider audience.
The NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic
The new NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic system is designed to change the treatment approach for patients suffering from chronic pain. It combines the already familiar telemedicine function with the new and exciting feature of remote programming, wherein a patient’s implanted stimulator device can be programmed virtually, from anywhere. With this advancement, patients will no longer need to go into the clinic to get their devices programmed. It is a time and stress saver for those who don’t live close to the provider’s office, are unduly burdened by access to care, are on an extended vacation out-of-state, or who are unable to go to their clinic because of circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how technology can and should be implemented to help guarantee patient safety and streamline the patient care experience,” said Dr. Andrew Will, founder and Medical Director of Twin Cities Pain Clinic. “We wholly believe in the efficacy of neuromodulation therapy in providing long-term, drug-free relief from chronic pain. The NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic system will allow us to offer our patients the same exceptional care outcomes, while expanding access to care and cutting out any unnecessary travel. We look forward to the benefits this new technology will afford our patients, both now and beyond COVID-19.”
Who can use the NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic?
The NeuroSohere Virtual Clinic is compatible with Abbott’s suite of neuromodulation technologies, including InfinityTM DBS System for patients with Parkinson’s disease or essential tremor of the upper extremities, ProclaimTM XR spinal cord stimulation (SCS) system for patients living with chronic pain of the trunk and/or limbs, and ProclaimTM dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurostimulation system for patients with chronic pain in the lower limbs caused by complex regional pain syndrome or causalgia.
*Anywhere with a cellular or WiFi connection and sufficiently charged patient controller.
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