Technology delivers pain relief

Cool surgical x-rays of spinal cord surgery last night on the 10 o’clock news showed the insertion of wire (not in this pic!)  into the epidural space that’s wirelessly linked to an external neurostimulator. By activating an electrical current in the wire it can counteract chronic back pain. Medtronic, the manufacturers couldn’t have hoped for better publicity for their device which quite rightly has been credited with transforming the lives of those whose lives are crippled by persistent back pain. Implants to control tremors in those with Parkinsons, treat symptoms in the acutely depressed, rejuvenate hearing in the deaf and regulate the heart in those with arrhythmia are becoming more sophisticated and effective. The challenge is affording them when we are still allowing so many people to  drain the NHS budget through irresponsible living.

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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