Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT) launched a clinical trial of a neurostimulator designed for patients suffering from chronic pain.
The RestoreSensor neurostimulator is unique because it uses a proprietary sensor that enables it to adjust the amount of electricity being delivered to a patient, based on the patient’s body position, according to a press release.
The amount of electricity required for a neurostimulator to block pain signals from reaching a patient’s brain differs based on body position. That’s because adjustments to body position change the distance between the spinal cord and the neurostimulator’s implanted electrodes.
Typically patients use a remote control device to adjust their neurostimulator when they change positions. The RestoreSensor removes the need for patients to make adjustments, because its sensor allows the device to make the adjustments itself, using Medtronic’s AdaptiveStim technology, according to the company.
The device has already received European regulatory approval. The U.S. trials will be conducted at 10 locations, with the first implant already performed at Minneapolis’ MAPS Pain Clinic.
Medtronic hopes to launch the RestoreSensor in the U.S. in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 and estimates its potential market size at $1 billion.
Last quarter, revenues in Medtronic’s neuromodulation business grew 11 percent to $394 million.