This startup has developed a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device controlled by a smartphone to relieve chronic pain.
Whether it is arthritis, low back pain, endometriosis, or fibromyalgia, nearly 20 million French people, or around 20% of the population, suffer from chronic pain. Founded in 2015, the start-up Sublimed offers non-medicinal treatment to relieve this discomfort. Its product, dubbed actiTENS, generates low-level electric pulses to inhibit the neurological pain messages connected with many chronic diseases.
“To demonstrate its effectiveness, we recently conducted a clinical study on 110 patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis,” explains Antoine Nicol, International Business Developer at Sublimed.
“The results of the study attest to the superiority of actiTENS over weak opioids – such as tramadol or opium powder – in managing pain.”
Patients report a significant reduction in pain, better tolerance of the treatment compared with drug-based solutions and an easier return to active life. “This study shows that actiTENS can become the reference alternative treatment for this indication,” concludes Antoine Nicol.
On the market since 2018 in France, this miniaturized box positioned directly on the patient’s skin and connected to their smartphone has already won over nearly 15,000 regular users. The young start-up, which has 16 employees, received FDA approval in December 2020 and plans to launch its product in the United States, a country hard-hit by the “opioid” health crisis – the painkillers that caused 80,000 deaths in the country in 2020.
Boosted by significant clinical results, the French social security system’s inclusion of its medical device on its list of reimbursable products, and worldwide demand for a non-medicated solution to relieve chronic pain, Sublimed heads into this international deployment stage with confidence. A revolution could be in the making.