by Mark Schoening | Director of Industrial Design
Ever wish you could erase pain by pushing a button? SIGMADESIGN is working on a concept to do just that.
Electro-stimulation is commonly used by chiropractors, physical therapists and sports-medicine doctors for treating chronic and acute pain. These treatments, though effective, can be inconvenient: a desktop or handheld ‘stimulator’ device must be connected by a tangle of wires to electrode-pads placed at the pain site. The stimulator is often bulky, having either on-board batteries or an AC/wall-plug adapter to provide enough power for multiple treatments. Secondly, interfaces are designed for Doctors or Technicians, not for intuitive use by a patient. Finally as mentioned, the exposed wires can be easily tangled or dislodged. All of these elements combine to limit pain-treatment sessions to clinics or other controlled environments.
SIGMADESIGN, in collaboration with our longtime friends and clients at RS Medical,
have taken a different approach. We began by questioning whether wires were really necessary. Why not a re-chargeable power source right at the electrode pad? There are a myriad of ‘coin-cell’ batteries that could supply enough power for a 30-minute session. And what if we could communicate with the pad using BlueTooth instead of wire s?
We conceptualized a control app for smart phones, which could then also connect remotely with physicians. Now we had a device with capabilities far beyond current stimulator systems, and, without wires or a conspicuous ‘stimulator device’, our system could be used unobtrusively anytime, anywhere.
This is just one example of our multi-disciplinary SIGMADESIGN approaches: combining industrial design, electronic design and miniaturization, software / firmware / GUI design, and of course mechanical design and detail engineering. Give us a call if you’d like a little jolt to get you out of your box!