Cell phone powers back pain chip in Taiwan

Cell phone powers back pain chip in Taiwan Taipei: Taiwanese researchers have
developed a chip to treat back pain that is powered by mobile
phone, a member of the team said today.

The chip is implanted directly into the sufferer`s
back but draws electricity from a power source in his or her
cellphone, said Lin Chi-wan, a biomedical engineer at National
Taiwan University.

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," said Lin. 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 cellphones, or 1.1 cellphones
per resident, at the end of October.