Medtronic debuts virtual spinal cord stimulation treatment guide

To help patients better control their chronic pain and neuromodulation treatments from home, Medtronic is launching its first virtual, connected portal for spinal cord stimulation.

The CareGuidePro program allows healthcare providers to help manage and personalize the therapy by collecting real-time feedback from patients on their pain relief without forcing them to make trips into the clinic.

The new website and mobile app, developed in partnership with the digital health provider Higgs Boson Health, also serve as a guide for patients as they begin their therapy and a place to have two-way communication and share files with caregivers.

The program follows the recent rollout of Abbott’s virtual NeuroSphere platform, which aims to connect people suffering from chronic pain or movement disorders with video chat and remote programming features, including digital prescriptions for new treatment settings.

RELATED: Abbott launches virtual clinic for its neuromodulation devices

Medtronic’s CareGuidePro includes procedure-specific FAQs for patients, as well as task lists, reminders and standardized patient-reported outcomes surveys over the course of their therapy. 

The medtech giant said it is currently enrolling patients for a limited commercial release and is planning a wider launch later this summer on both iOS and Android devices.

RELATED: Medtronic's Intellis spinal cord stimulator algorithm delivers back pain relief at one-year mark

Late last year, Medtronic posted new clinical data showing its Intellis line of spinal cord stimulators and treatment algorithms were able to provide stable back pain relief after one year by varying electrical pulses based on the patient’s movement and position—such as if they’re lying down, sitting or standing, which can shift the position of the spinal cord and its distance from the implant’s electrodes.

The study showed the adaptive treatment could cut reported pain levels by at least half among 84% of its recipients, compared to 51% of participants undergoing conventional stimulation doses from the implanted device.