His Path to myPath.
After diagnosing the source of his chronic pain, to see if the Proclaim XR would help reduce Robert's pain in the long-term, Dr. Cubillo performed a trial implant, a temporary placement during which Robert would be able to experience the hoped-for pain relief.
"I used NeuroSphere™ myPath™ during the actual trial," said Robert. This device is designed to store pain relief information and assist in communication between the patient and healthcare provider during this crucial period. It allows patients to connect with Abbott support, access educational materials and, most importantly, track pain and related symptom relief progress by giving the patient a tool to chart their experiences throughout the trial period.
"It helped me gain insight to the pain relief I was receiving during my device trial," said Robert. "It allowed me to record my responses to different stimuli, which was helpful information for my doctor."
"With myPath, the patient can tell us not only what percentage relief they are experiencing, but what are some functionalities they can use. They might not receive complete relief, but if they get substantial relief while sleeping better or walking better, that's a home run,” said Dr. Cubillo.
A Visit to the NeuroSphere Virtual Clinic
This data helped inform the decision to place a permanent device, which led to Robert's introduction to the NeuroSphere™ Virtual Clinic app. Until very recently, when people using spinal cord stimulators needed adjustments to their treatment programs, they had to make appointments and travel to and from their caregivers.
But now, remote care is available and very much appreciated by the people who use it.
"One of the great things about the app is that no matter where I am, if there's a usable wi-fi signal, I can request remote care where my doctors can tailor the device settings to match what I'm experiencing. It's all adjustable to my specific use case. If I'm experiencing more pain on one side, they can make the adjustment and same with if I need more intensity or a different program.
"I am able do all this without ever having to make it to an office, especially because I love to travel and now I can. I get the relief I need whether I'm home or in a hotel room."
Day-to-Day is No Longer Pain-to-Pain
The difference in daily concerns can be startling. "Before the implant, I once met a bunch of former colleagues for dinner when I was away from home. I had to take a gallon-sized plastic bag with all my different medications because I didn't know what I would need – and when – that night," said Robert. "Emotionally, carrying a pharmacy with you like that when you just want to meet up with friends is tough."
"Using the controller app is easy, intuitive and, since it's on my phone, very easy to access if I need to make adjustments myself," said Robert. "One of the best things about the app is I can anticipate issues and deal with them before the pain arrives. I can turn up the intensity before exercising, knowing that it helps me deal with possible flare-ups afterwards. This lets me exercise more which is better for my overall health."
Physicians echo these sentiments. "There are now fewer barriers for patients and the app allows them to take control of their own pain and their own lives," said Dr. Cornidez. "Patients are getting their lives back because of this technology."
"The app is very easy to use, and I tweak and adjust settings as necessary," said Robert. "It doesn't take more than 30 seconds to adjust my spinal cord stimulator and it helps my mood that I feel like I can depend on the results. My confidence in the treatment has increased along with the feeling that I am moving forward and progressing.
"The device has given me enough freedom to where I now go back out and do things. I can take long walks, experience things with my friends and have meaningful conversations, not worried that I'll get lost midway through a sentence because of my meds. It's hugely liberating."