January 22, 2008

Physical therapists who have relied on iontophoresis as a safe, reliable and effective drug delivery method have had to also address issues associated with traditional dose controllers, lead wires and patch-only iontophoresis systems. These traditional systems sometimes contributed to extensive wear times, patient patch sensitivity and imprecise dosage delivery. Empi reports it is now offering the industry’s first wireless hybrid iontophoresis system, Hybresis, a convenient, needle-free drug delivery system designed to allowa clinicians to treat more patients while improving overall care by reducing patient discomfort and inconvenience.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than 50 million Americans annually suffer from chronic pain. Traditional pain management treatments include needle injections of anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotics, time-consuming in-clinic treatments or surgery – all of which often result in unnecessary pain, side effects, anxiety or inconvenience for patients. Hybresis, according to Empi sources, significantly reduces the total in-clinic time, enabling PTs to help move more patients through the clinic faster. Ultimately, PTs can spend more time on providing care.  
PTs, including Rick Mewes, OCS, who works in a sports medicine clinic in Minneapolis, have reported that the Hybresis system offers the power of the traditional dose controllers and lead wires, with the flexibility of a patch. “With Hybresis, my patients can be treated effectively in less than half the time it takes for traditional iontophoresis,” Mewes says. “My patients have also responded favorably – opting for the convenience that Hybresis offers over other methods. The greatest benefit I’ve seen from using Hybresis is that I can now spend more time providing therapy, rather than wasting the time that’s required for other iontophoresis treatments to be administered.”
The Hybresis system consists of a charging station with four controller bays, a wireless, rechargeable controller and an iontophoresis patch. The patches have an internal battery which powers the delivery of the medicine during and upon removal of the external Hybresis device. The Hybresis Dose Controller connects to the patch and powers a three-minute initial treatment, allowing for increased absorption that leads to more controlled therapy. After three minutes, the Dose Controller is removed and the Patch is powered to deliver the remainder of the therapy to the patient – providing patients with the mobility to leave the clinic. After approximately one to two hours, the treatment is complete and patients should remove and discard the patch.
Empi reports that Hybresis patient benefits include: Significantly shorter in-clinic and overall wear times; A more discreet and comfortable system which reduces the likelihood of skin irritation; A gentle, hypoallergenic patch adhesive and ergonomic design that conforms to the treatment area; Virtually painless treatment without anti-inflammatory injections, thereby reducing the risk of infection and minimizing potential for tissue trauma from the needle 
“My pain used to prevent me from doing everyday activities like lifting weights, exercising and using some hand tools on do-it-yourself projects,” said patient Bob Gubrud, who recently suffered a shoulder injury due to a bike accident. “Since my PT offered Hybresis, the road to recovery has been much faster. I was in and out of the clinic quickly and able to get back to doing my everyday activities feeling pain-free.”
“With a continued rise in the aging population and the number of people suffering from chronic pain, America today is facing a pain epidemic. Now more than ever, healthcare professionals need the right tools to treat their patients, who often have a number of concerns about pain management,” said Don Dumoulin, President of Empi. “With Hybresis, Empi has taken another step in providing patients with more options for therapeutic relief. Essentially, we’ve taken the ‘pain’ out of drug delivery for both patients and the health care professionals.”
Empi’s Hybresis system has regulatory approval through the 510(k) market clearance process of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Prescription by a licensed physician is required.
Source: Empi