Mobile phone chip to help back pain

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 30 November 2009, 08:33 Hrs   |    31 Comments
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Mobile phone chip to help back pain
Bangalore: Researchers in Taiwan say that they've developed a chip to treat back pain that is powered by mobile phone. The chip is implanted directly into the sufferer's back but draws electricity from a power source in his or her mobile phone, Lin Chi-wan, a biomedical engineer at National Taiwan University, said on Friday.

This marks a departure from existing spinal cord stimulators, which are kept going by implanted batteries, making them more cumbersome for patients to use, according to the team. "We have finished an animal trial for the new device and got good results," said Lin.

The coin-sized chip, the result of six years of research, is equipped with two electrodes which transmit electromagnetic waves to alleviate pain. "We are looking into human tests soon to confirm the effectiveness of the chip," said Lin.

Lower-back treatment is the fourth biggest cost to the island's health insurance system, the state-owned Central News Agency said on its website. Taiwan had 25.3 million mobile phones, or 1.1 mobiles per resident, at the end of October.

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