SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- For the eleven million Americans who suffer from fibromyalgia, the search for relief from chronic pain has reached an important milestone—the introduction of a non-invasive, clinically proven technique for increasing physical activity and reducing chronic pain. Among the company's research subjects, the top 75% of subjects experiencing relief gained greater activity levels of over 70% as measured by steps recorded on a pedometer. The device, called the Hummingbird™, works by applying a gentle micro-mechanical vibration which is placed under the plantar (or front part) of the feet. This vibration in turn activates the calf muscles, increasing blood flow throughout the body and significantly relieving the pain and "symptoms associated with diseases such as fibromyalgia, orthostatic hypotension (posture-related dizziness), and poor circulation. The Hummingbird™ is a small, lightweight, simple-to-use device that can be conveniently accessed in the patient's home or office and is generally used for 15-30 minutes once or twice per day.
Vital Motion, created through an alliance between a physician, a bioengineering professor and an entrepreneur, is dedicated to improving the lives of chronic disease sufferers. The North Carolina-based company was launched in 2012, and the Hummingbird™, its first product, was released in 2017. "Many medical device therapies available in the market are designed to address various chronic pain indications, most are alternatives to suppressing the intake of opioids or other pain medicines. In contrast, the Hummingbird™ is a specialized therapy that has been scientifically evaluated and clinically demonstrated to address the critical physiological disabilities strongly correlated with fibromyalgia," explained Bradley Saveth, Co-founder at Vital Motion. Fibromyalgia's correlation with orthostatic hypotension was first documented in a Johns Hopkins University study published in the mid-1990s by Dr. Peter Rowe.
The Frost & Sullivan 2018 New Product and Innovation Award (https://www.vitalmotion.com/innovative-product-of-the-year-award/) recognizes outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. In selecting award winners, Frost & Sullivan industry analysts compare companies and assess performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices.
"Vital Motion has taken the lead in the fibromyalgia therapies market by developing its Hummingbird™ device that can deliver vibrational plantar stimulation therapy to address a broad range of conditions like fibromyalgia. The Hummingbird™ is an industry innovation because it stimulates the foot's plantar nerve endings by delivering varying intensities of vibrational energy, thereby increasing the function of the calf muscle pump. This unique type of therapy is gradually being accepted by the community of pain physicians as an emerging standard of care for treating fibromyalgia symptoms," said Arjunvasan A, Healthcare Analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
One unique benefit of the Hummingbird™ is its delivery of a patented micro-mechanical vibration, rather than stimulation through electrical impulses, avoiding the pain and irritation that can accompany electrical stimulation treatments including the adhesive on the electrodes. In addition, an accompanying Hummingbird App can be installed on any smartphone or tablet to allow the patient to control the stimulation time and vibration levels throughout the treatment period. Finally, the one-time cost of purchasing the Hummingbird™ is a fraction of fibromyalgia patients' median annual spending on pain medications, which represents for 37% of patients an investment between $100 and $1,000 above their insurance plans. Currently, the Hummingbird™ qualifies as a durable medical product for flexible spending account and health savings account.
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