Q&A with the Engineers Behind Quell
We often get questions about what differentiates Quell from other pain relief devices available in the marketplace. Quell is more than just innovative, powerful technology – every aspect of the product was designed for the best possible user experience and none of this would be possible without our expert team of biomedical, software, mechanical, and electrical engineers based here in our Boston-area offices.
We sat down with Bonniejean, our director of product development to learn more about how the product is designed, tested and enhanced.
How does the design of Quell differ from other wearables?
Since there is no other wearable device on the market quite like Quell, there are many differences. Aside from being the only device of its kind cleared by the FDA for use during sleep, Quell delivers clinical strength pain relief in a wearable form. We’ve built sophisticated algorithms that enable Quell to automatically customize therapy for the individual. Although Quell’s primary purpose is as a therapeutic device, it does have tracking capabilities as an important benefit. For instance, the placement on leg allows for more sophisticated metrics for sleep and gait. Quell is also unique because the built-in rechargeable lithium battery allows the device to deliver clinical strength power over a longer period of time so the user doesn’t need to charge frequently and never needs to replace the battery.
When designing Quell, did the engineering team have any specific requirements to follow?
When designing Quell as an over the counter, wearable device, the focus was on making the device easy-to-wear and comfortable enough for 24/7 use. To accomplish this, our ultimate goal was to get to smallest physical size possible, while also still delivering the power necessary for optimal pain relief. The goal for any wearable device would be to be as small and light-weight as possible so that the user doesn’t notice that they are wearing it.
What have been some of the unforeseen challenges in engineering the Quell device?
Designing the device to be worn 24 hours a day was the most challenging, especially since there are no other wearable therapeutic devices on the market that are designed for 24/7 use. Because of this, we needed to think about any usability and durability issues that could arise with the band and electrodes.
How has the software changed since the first implementation of Quell?
From our first version of Quell to our most updated device, we’ve implemented significant improvements that have really made a difference for Quell users. The biggest change over the years has been the app control of the device – including the start, stop and adjustment of therapeutic intensity – which required separate FDA clearance. In addition, having app-based calibration has really helped users get the right level of therapy for optimal pain relief. We’ve also added sophisticated tracking to the device so users can measure progress on multiple unique health dimensions (including pain, activity and gait) and have introduced customized therapy settings (including stimulation pattern and length of session) in response to the feedback we received from current Quell users.
How does the engineering team go about testing the Quell device in the lab?
Here at NeuroMetrix, testing is an integral part of our product development process, from initial concept to final design. Our engineering team typically develops initial concepts for new features and functionality based on user feedback and in anticipation of what people may need or want in the future. From there, we develop rigid design requirements and perform testing against those guidelines, which oftentimes includes pulling in NeuroMetrix employees to try the product for live feedback or using simple robotic systems to simulate use cases and exercise functionality.
You can read more about what sets Quell apart in our posts about TENS and Electrodes. Have any other questions for our engineering team that you’d like to read about in a future blog post? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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