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.

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. 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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