Helping chronic pain sufferers with technology

17-02-2022 | U-Blox | Semiconductors

u-blox has announced that Exsurgo’s Axon headset for chronic pain treatment runs on a u-blox ANNA-B112 Bluetooth 5 SIP, also utilised for wireless communication. The headset is part of a 116-person clinical trial to demonstrate safety and efficacy. European Union.

The solution to relieving chronic pain relies on neurofeedback, which involves measuring a user’s brain activity and providing state-specific feedback.

The headset uses EEG to measure electrical activity from multiple sites on the patient’s scalp. It then employs Bluetooth to wirelessly stream this data to a mobile device, where a visual representation of the patient’s EEG activity is shown in near real-time. Through a neurofeedback application on the mobile device, the patient can then engage with neuro-exercises training them to alter the state of their brain to lower their perception of chronic pain.

By working with the ultra-compact ANNA-B112 Bluetooth 5 SIP, measuring just 6.5mm x 6.5mm x 1.2mm, Exsurgo was able to reduce the overall size of the electronics and design a product patients would feel comfortable with. And employing Bluetooth 5’s considerable payload capacity, they achieved data rates high enough to transmit data sampled from multiple EEG electrodes while satisfying the demanding latency need.

“The Axon headset beautifully demonstrates how IoT technology can take a previously costly solution and make it accessible to a much broader audience. A massive burden on healthcare systems and the economy, chronic pain affects up to one in five people worldwide. We are excited to be part of a solution that promises to have life-changing effects on millions of people,” says Pelle Svensson, senior product marketing manager, Product Centre Short Range at u-blox.

“u-blox added value throughout the development process of the Axon headset, not only as a hardware supplier but also as a design partner. The small size of the ultra-low-power ANNA-B112, its powerful microprocessor, along with detailed reference schematics for seamless integration into our electronics project were instrumental in designing a quality medical device,” says Faisal Almesfer, chief technology officer at Exsurgo.


By Nigel Seymour

Nigel has worked in the advertising and magazine publishing industry for many years prior to helping publish articles in the early years of Electropages. He has worked with technical agencies producing documents and artwork for the web over the last few years. He has been products editor for Electropages for over five years.