Friday, January 16, 2015

Gut feeling no more - a new device to treat obesity

The WSJ reports on a new medical device approved by the FDA
The device, made by EnteroMedics Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., is the first of its kind to treat obesity by targeting nerves that link the stomach and the brain. The Maestro Rechargeable System would block electrical signals in the abdominal vagus nerve by dispatching high-frequency electrical pulses.

The device is one of a series of products called neuro-modulators that target nerves for a variety of conditions ranging from pain to Parkinson’s disease.

157 patients with the working device lost 8.5% more of their excess body weight than did the control group.

The technology to detect and manipulate the nervous system is getting better. Today, we can get computers to orchestrate bodily functions that we no longer can control, e.g. due to obesity, injury, or brain problems. As the interfaces between biological and computer signals improve, we will see more bio-apps that take advantage of the exponentially growing cloud capabilities.

tags: innovation, control, cloud, interfaces

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