Informed Content

As the range and complexity of neurotechnology products expands, it is becoming more important for vendors of neurotech devices to educate their customers about the capabilities of their systems. Most vendors have produced product literature and documentation that provide clinicians with the technical information they need. But this information is often too technical for potential patients and end-users. Cochlear implant manufacturers have done a good job of offering educational material for end users in print and on their websites, and Cochlear has even created an iPhone app that users can download [see article, p4]. But vendors of other types of neurotech devices will need to follow suit.

In the early days of the neurotech industry, when there were relatively few devices on the market, this was not that big of an issue. But the increasing degree of competition within many product categories has changed this situation. Also, the increasing level of interest within patient communities of learning more about their therapies and exchanging information with other patients via the Internet has created demand for more information directed at end users.

New and emerging categories of neurotech devices already have multiple competitors developing products. Hypoglossal nerve stimulation systems for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea has three manufacturers. There are at least four vendors of drop-foot stimulation systems for treating gait abnormalities.

Just as the number of new competitors and new products in the neuromodulation field has expanded, so has the number of sources of on-line forums available to patients within a number of indications. One such forum for individuals with neurological diseases and disorders is Neurotech Network, which offers information on neuromodulation therapies for potential end-users. The advent of “citizen science” has motivated a number of patients to take a more active role in the selection and administration of therapies that treat their disorders. This expanded patient interest, coupled with more programming options in programmable pulse generators, may well lead recipients of neuromodulation devices to desire greater input in the selection of their device and the dosing of stimulation parameters.

To help address this growing need for up-to-date, informative, and impartial information about neuromodulation therapies, Neurotech Reports launched an on-line Database of Neuromodulation Products. We will also soon be offering customized physician and patient reference guides that cover neurotech devices used in a number of clinical specialties. For more information on these Neuromodulation Reference Guides, contact Neurotech Reports at 415 546 1259.

James Cavuoto
Editor and Publisher



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