Medtronic Expands Non-Opioid Chronic Pain Management System to Europe
Medtronic announced on Monday the European launch of its Intellis platform, a chronic pain management system featuring the world’s smallest fully implantable spinal cord stimulator.
The medical device company, which keeps its U.S. operational headquarters in Fridley, introduced Intellis to the U.S. last September after receiving approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to sell the product to health care practitioners around the country.
Medtronic’s expansion of the Intellis platform to Europe was made possible after the system received CE Mark clearance—similar to FDA approval—to aid patients with chronic pain specifically in their “trunk and/or limbs.”
The market potential for Intellis in Europe is vast, Medtronic said, citing a study that found one in five adults from Western Europe as victims of chronic pain. “Chronic pain can negatively impact all aspects of a person’s life,” the company said in its release, “[including] relationships, work productivity and activities of daily living, yet it remains under-recognized and undertreated.”
Arguably the strongest seller to Intellis over other chronic pain management systems is its avoidance of pain medications, such as opioids, as a form of treatment. Rather, Intellis uses electrical pulses to block pain signals from reaching the brain—a process otherwise known as neurostimulation.
Dr. Lance Roy, a pain medicine specialist from Duke University, heaped praise on the Intellis platform two months ago when it launched in the U.S. “Chronic pain is challenging to manage,” he said. “New non-opioid treatment options are important given the national crisis related to opioid abuse.”
Roy added that Intellis offered “a welcome new option” to managing certain kinds of chronic pain.