Abbott presents new data on streamlining patient-reported measures, BurstDR and more at NANS


Abbott presented new data in more than 30 presentations and posters at the North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) annual meeting (12–15 January 2023, Las Vegas, USA), highlighting how neuromodulation can help people suffering from chronic pain and movement disorders, including in potentially new indications.

One such presentation saw results from the REALITY sub-study delivered by Denis Patterson (Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists, Reno, USA). As per an Abbott press release, this sub-study reinforces the value of wearable technology in monitoring patient responses to spinal cord stimulation (SCS) therapy.

It assessed the use of wearable sensors in finding biomarkers associated with pain during SCS treatment and identified several objective features from the wearable pre- versus post-SCS therapy (i.e. heart rate, step count and stand time). Response to SCS therapy is usually evaluated in the clinical setting via patient-reported outcomes (PROs), the release notes, and objective measures collected from wearable sensors may complement these PROs to provide a better understanding of patients’ chronic pain.

According to Abbott, these results “set up a foundation for using objective measures for predicting response to SCS therapy in the future”.

Also at NANS 2023, a presentation of the international REALITY study by Frank Huygen (Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) highlighted the potential of streamlined sets of patient-reported measures in patients using SCS.

While frequent data collection can inform patient progress and success, traditionally, this tracking utilises long-form questionnaires, which can be burdensome for both patients and clinicians, the release from Abbott continues. As such, the goal for this study was to investigate the feasibility of using a limited set of outcome questions from multiple validated patient-recorded outcomes to increase patient engagement, based on the data from the prospective, multicentre REALITY study.

Insights from this trial highlight the value of transitioning from a more subjective numerical rating scale (NRS) to a digital platform, which could include only the most important questions to increase engagement, Abbott claims.

A third key presentation highlighted by the company referred to new one-year data from the DISTINCT randomised controlled trial (RCT), demonstrating the superiority of the BurstDR SCS system as compared to conventional medical management.

Findings from the 12-month, post-implant study demonstrated dramatic improvements in pain, function and pain-related emotional suffering when using Abbott’s BurstDR SCS system in patients suffering from chronic low back pain that cannot be addressed through corrective surgery. These findings were presented by Timothy Deer (West Virginia University, Charleston, USA).


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