Physicians at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are using new technology to help patients withdraw from opioids. The academic medical center recently purchased the NSS-2 BRIDGE device from Indiana-based medical technology firm Innovative Health Solutions, Inc. (IHS). The BRIDGE is a percutaneous nerve-field stimulator that helps reduce symptoms of opioid withdrawal. The FDA cleared the device in November 2017.
Physicians place the BRIDGE behind a patient’s ear and micro-needle arrays send gentle electrical impulses to areas of the brain and branches of the nerves leading into the spinal cord. Research study results of the technology show an 84.6 percent reduction of withdrawal symptoms in as little as 60 minutes.
Dr. Matthew Kortes, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, began using the BRIDGE in February. Within 30 minutes of having the BRIDGE installed, the first patient’s opioid withdrawal symptoms drastically improved.
“There was a noticeable decrease in the patient’s runny nose, nausea and achiness,” said Kortes. “The patient’s Clinical Opioid Withdrawal Scale (COWS) score dropped by 90 percent and the patient was discharged the next day.”
“The BRIDGE brings a clinical benefit to the patient and a potential savings to the hospital system,” said Brian Carrico, IHS CEO. “If patients can successfully come off opioids more quickly and leave the hospital sooner, everyone wins.”
Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center recently purchased the BRIDGE to be used hospital-wide and healthcare providers are being trained on the technology.