Neuromodulation Devices: A Silver Lining to Enhance the COVID-19 Patients’ Lives
The neuromodulation devices play a significant role in this pandemic situation for the COVID-19 affected patients’ treatment. Since the neuromodulation devices have high success and faster recovery rates, the researchers are shifting towards neuromodulation treatment for COVID-19 patients. The vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is the most used application of neuromodulation devices, which is currently under trials for the treatment of COVID-19 diseases.
The novel COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late November of last year. This disease is since then spreading rapidly all across the globe by affecting millions of people. However, with various studies related to the COVID-19 disease, it is clear that the disease is not restricted only to the respiratory system, but it can also affect the peripheral and central nervous system. Thus, neuromodulation devices play a significant role in this pandemic situation for the COVID-19 affected patients’ treatment.
According to a Research Dive published report, the COVID-19 pandemic has positively affected the global neuromodulation devices. Patients with chronic diseases are more prone to contacting COVID-19, and the drugs & medication process used as a standard treatment for these patients to respond very slowly. Moreover, the outcome of this regular treatment might not even be accurate or is inadequate. Since the neuromodulation devices have a high success rate and faster recovery rate, the patients are moving towards neuromodulation treatment.
What is Neuromodulation?
Neuromodulation can be defined as a prominent technology, used to stimulate the specific alteration or neurological sites of the nerve activity with the help of chemical agents in the human body or electricity. Most of the neuromodulation devices use electrical stimulation, wherein the electrodes are attached to the peripheral nerves, spinal cord, or brain for carrying out the treatment process. Today, with the COVID-19 outbreak, these devices are being used for enhancing the quality of life or treat people suffering from COVID-19 and other chronic conditions.
The examples of neuromodulation that aren’t precisely related to pain include the sacral nerve stimulation for pelvic incontinence and disorders, use of DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) treatment for Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for ischemic disorders, vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) for migraines, and other for the treatment of peripheral vascular disease. Besides, neuromodulation devices can stimulate a response where there was formerly not any, as in the case of a cochlear implant, which restores the hearing in a deaf patient.
Neuromodulation Devices are Cost-effective Options to Manage Chronic Pain
During the COVID-19 crisis, given the initial costs of the neuromodulation devices and their relative novelty, typically, the neuromodulation treatments have been offered to patients only after trying conventional treatment options such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and medications. As the insurance coverage and clinical decision-making are changing, neuromodulation is now being measured much earlier in the planning of treatment. According to several studies, it is revealed that early treatment with these devices of COVID-19 patients with a chronic disorder is a cost-effective way, as they can reduce the misuse of medications. However, only a physician can provide guidance based on a particular situation and other pain treatments.
VNS Application of Neuromodulation Devices for Treatment of COVID-19 Disease
The vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is the most used application of neuromodulation devices, which is currently under trials for the treatment of the COVID-19 disease. VNS is a medical treatment in which the vagus nerve is delivered with the electrical pulses to cure acute respiratory disease.
The major operating players in the neuromodulation devices industry are under the process of trials in order to treat COVID-19 diseases. If the results of these trials are successful, then there are great chances that the vagus nerve stimulation treatment will be used in most of the clinics and hospitals to treat the life-threatening COVID-19 disease. For instance, a clinical experiment was conducted by electro Core related to COVID-19 disease that provides a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation for treating the respiratory symptoms associated with the COVID-19.
Market Scenario Post-COVID-19 Chaos
The global neuromodulation devices market is witnessing a significant increase in growth rate owing to the COVID-19 outbreak and is projected to experience a tremendous growth post-pandemic. The growing prevalence of chronic diseases, including spinal problems, epilepsy, depression, and other diseases among the worldwide population will be a major factor propelling the growth of the global market by 2026. In addition, the increasing investments in both public, as well as private hospitals to treat neurological disorders will further impel the market growth in the forecast period.
Treatment with Neuromodulation Devices is Not without Risks
The complications associated with neuromodulation treatment include bleeding, reactions to medications, blood clots, infection, and other side effects, especially with intrathecal pump (a neuromodulation device). However, as the nervous system of every patient is unique, the response to these neuromodulation treatments may vary from patient to patient. Thus, a medical trial is performed before the neuromodulation devices are permanently implanted.
The Bottom Line
Neuromodulation techniques are gaining popularity in the COVID-19 crisis due to their highly successful recovery rate in various chronic diseases. Patients who have previously undergone multiple neuromodulation treatments and did not get satisfying results, may wish to opt for neuromodulation techniques. Neuromodulation devices are promising when existing treatment develops as problematic for long-term use owing to the development of tolerance, adverse side effects, and addiction. Thus, the neuromodulation devices and its treatment have tremendous potential to enhance the lives of COVID-19 patients.
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