Masimo, a medical technology company, announced today its device aimed at reducing the symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.
The device, called Bridge, is a wearable, single-patient-use, percutaneous neurostimulator which is situated behind the ear. It applies electrical impulses to the cranial nerves around the ear, which can reduce neuron activity and reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms, according to Masimo.
Bridge can be applied to users in a non-surgical, in-office procedure. The device was designed to be worn in daily life without interference.
WHY IT MATTERS
From 1999 to 2018, more than 232,000 people died in the United States from overdoses involving prescription opioids, according to the CDC.
Despite that number, less than 20% of people received specialty treatment for their opioid addiction in 2016.
Individual withdrawal experiences vary depending on the drug and the severity of the dependence, and symptoms can include nausea and vomiting, anxiety, insomnia, hot and cold flashes, perspiration, muscle cramps, watery discharge from eyes and nose, and diarrhea, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. These symptoms can last up to 20 days.
In a study that looked at the effectiveness of Bridge and cited by Masimo, the device was found to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms within 15 to 30 minutes, and to provide continuous relief for as long as it was applied, which can be up to 120 hours per device.
The study included 73 adults with opioid use disorder. It showed an 85% reduction of withdrawal symptoms after the first hour of using the device and a 97% reduction after five days.
After the study was completed, almost 89% of participants transitioned to medication-assisted therapy.
THE LARGER TREND
Masimo has released a range of noninvasive medical devices, from an at-home finger pulse oximeter to a respiration monitor for infants and neonatal patients.
A similar device was released by DyAnsys in 2018 that also sends electrical signals to cranial nerves around the ear.
Quit Genius also recently released a product targeted at helping those with OUD. The company released a digital platform aimed at providing a holistic approach to addiction recovery.
ON THE RECORD
“The opioid epidemic continues to impact millions of people around the world,” Joe Kiani, founder and CEO of Masimo, said in a statement. “Unassisted withdrawal from long-term use can be lengthy, extremely unpleasant, and there is a high risk of relapse. Effectively helping to reduce opioid withdrawal symptoms, which is what Bridge has been shown to do, is a critical first step toward successful illicit opioid cessation and treatment. This is the first tool that we are introducing to help with the opioid epidemic. We are committed to doing what we can to help reduce opioid-related deaths.”