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“People are looking for drug-free alternatives…and we are really focused on making people aware of the fact that technology can be a really viable and effective solution for their chronic pain,” says Frank McGillin, COO of Quell, a company that’s offering just that: a completely drug-free, over-the-counter, wearable solution that employs neurotechnology in the treatment of lower-extremity chronic pain. By stimulating nerves with high-frequency electrical stimulation, the device triggers a response that blocks the pain signal in the body on a long-term and 24-hour basis. In fact, it’s the only over-the-counter pain-relieving device that’s been FDA-approved for use during sleep—a particularly important detail considering the overwhelming evidence that suggests lack of sleep actually exacerbates perceptions of pain. The device fits comfortably around the calf, is no larger than the size of a debit card, and creates a strong but comfortable buzzing sensation.

McGillin discusses the ins and outs of this technology, as well as user feedback from chronic pain patients, the device’s ability to track sleep patterns and gait abnormalities (which are linked to pain) to better inform users and provide suggestions over time, and the newest version of the product set to be launched this year, which will apply machine learning to millions of hours’ worth of user data in order to improve the device’s algorithms, making the technology smarter and more tailored to the individual pain sufferer.

Press play to hear the full conversation, and check out to learn more and get one for yourself.

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