Study: Migraine-Busting Armband Cuts US Healthcare Costs
An Israeli-developed vibrating armband not only prevents migraines also saves on healthcare expenses for Americans suffering from the debilitating headaches, according to a new study.
The Nerivio migraine bioband is placed on the upper arm as soon as a migraine starts, and it vibrates at an intensity just below the patient’s pain threshold. It causes nerve fibers in the body to deliver a message to the brain, where it decides that the sensation is harmless and releases neurotransmitters to prevent the sufferer from feeling pain.
The study, which was published in the Journal of Medical Economics, found that a commercial US healthcare plan with one million members will save $10,000 per member per year, when it covers the Nerivio device for all members clinically eligible for the preventative treatment of migraine.
The researchers determined this by measuring direct healthcare costs, such as the reduction in days of increased medication and doctor visits, and indirect costs such as missing work or school and the loss of productivity that occurs when employees are not fully functioning because of a health condition.
The three-month trial analyzed participants aged 18 to 75 who provided daily reports on these factors. Participants were treated for migraines every other day with either Nerivio or a placebo device.
The armband, which was developed by Israeli company Theranica, was found to reduce the number of acute medication days and the number of presenteeism days (the loss of productivity that occurs when people are present at work and school but not able to fully function).
“The burden of migraine disease is often debilitating not only physically but also in ways that directly affect people’s quality of life, ability to function at school or work, and need for additional care—all of which drive up costs,” said Alon Ironi, CEO of Theranica.
“The results of this study are a triple win: patients benefit from the reduction in migraine attack frequency and need for acute medications, health insurance plans benefit from the significant direct annual cost savings, and workplaces benefit from the reduction in absenteeism and lost productivity. Health insurance systems and employers should consider the powerful financial incentives that come with this drug-free migraine treatment.”