Cell phone powered back pain chip created by Taiwan

backpain27th November 2009 Taiwan reserchars have developed a chip to treat backpain that is powered by mobile phone.

The chip is implanted directly into the back of suffering patient but draws electricity from a power source in his or her mobile phone, Lin Chi-wan, a biomedical engineer at National Taiwan University, said on Friday.

This marks a departure from existing spinal cord stimulators, which are kept going by implanted batteries, making them more cumbersome for patients to use, according to the team.

“We have finished an animal trial for the new device and got good results,” Lin said.

The coin-sized chip, the result of six years of research, is equipped with two electrodes which transmit electromagnetic waves to alleviate pain.

“We are looking into human tests soon to confirm the effectiveness of the chip,” Lin said.

Lower-back treatment is the fourth biggest cost to the island’s health insurance system, the state-owned Central News Agency said on its website.

Taiwan had 25.3 million mobile phones, or 1.1 mobiles per resident, at the end of October