At the 2020 North American Neuromodulation Society annual meeting, Abbott (ABT -0.02%) reported data from a clinical trial testing its Proclaim XR neurostimulation implant in patients with chronic pain. The system was able to reduce pain catastrophizing scale scores (PCS), which measures the psychological aspects of pain, by an average of 62%.

Using another measure for pain, the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), 78% of patients had a score of "severe," "crippling," or "bed bound," at the start of the study, which was reduced to just 29% of patients after six months of having the implant -- with none of the patients reported as "bed bound." At the other end of the scale, 71% of people in the clinical trial had a minimal or moderate ODI score after six months of using the Proclaim XR.

Man with his hands on his head

Image source: Getty Images.

Abbott's Proclaim XR system is adjustable, allowing doctors to increase the strength of the neurostimulation if the patient isn't satisfied with the amount of pain reduction. Abbot has developed batteries that don't need to be charged, allowing the implant to function for up to 10 years when set to the lowest stimulation.

The healthcare company launched the Proclaim XR in the fourth quarter of 2019. The company doesn't breakout individual sales, but Robert Ford, Abbott's president and chief operating officer, said the launch produced a "modest improvement" in the company's neurology business, which struggled in 2019 with U.S. sales down 4.2% year over year.

With an estimated 50 million Americans living with chronic pain and new clinical trial data showing the system helps patients, there would seem to be room for further improvement.