Oulu-based company Mediracer has released a measuring device to monitor the progress of degenerative nerve disease which commonly causes pain, loss of sensation and muscle dysfunction in diabetics. According to an American estimate, diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN), occurs in up to around 60-70 per cent of diabetics. It especially affects those suffering with type 2 diabetes, totalling hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
According to the company, the device's access to trial use in Japan will be confirmed in July, and thereafter it will also be taken into trial use in some Finnish hospital units.
"After the results of Finnish and Japanese trials, the company will strive for international growth in other regions, too," says Chief Business Development Officer Yoko Keränen from Mediracer.
The Mediracer NCS carpal tunnel syndrome measuring device has a new feature which is able to monitor the progression of diabetic peripheral neuropathy in diabetics. The NCS system was originally developed to study carpal tunnel syndrome and last year it received the final certification required for Japanese markets. In Japan, the device also has a procedure reimbursement code, which guarantees a 70% refund of treatment costs for patients.
The NCS device's new DPN feature was achieved by replacing a glued surface electrode with a new stimulation electrode equipped with metal contact heads. This enables nerve conduction measures easier on nerves deeper beneath the skin. In diabetic patients, sural and radial nerves are measured. Conclusions concerning the function and condition of nerves can be drawn based on the results of measurements.
The patient usually undergoes testing once a year which provides doctors with reliable data on the progression of DPN and can be used in the adjustment of treatment. Nerve damage and poor circulation in the feet and legs can, untreated, easily cause infection. If an infection in the leg worsens and the leg becomes gangrenous, the leg may have to be amputated.
"The device is easy-to-use and comes in a briefcase for easy transportation. It's now possible to test for carpal tunnel syndrome as well as measure the sural and radial nerves in the same visit, if a diabetic patient has the relevant symptoms. Carpal tunnel syndrome, too, is more common amongst diabetics than in the healthy population. Usually testing for these two illnesses requires two separate visits or a specially booked, longer appointment," Mediracer's Yoko Keränen continues.
The condition of diabetic patients' nerves can be clinically tested by touching the skin with fibres of various thicknesses. With Mediracer's DPN device, it is possible to objectively measure nerve condition. Responses lower than reference values indicate nerve damage and this can be monitored at regular intervals if necessary.
In Finland and the UK, Mediracer NCS devices are already used by around 100 healthcare units.
Mediracer is an Oulu-based company whose measuring device is used to test for carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and now, measurements concerning diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) can also be carried out at local healthcare centres without the need for a separate appointment for specialist treatment. The result of the measurement is sent via the internet to a specialist, who will make a statement. The diagnostic process itself will not change, since a specialist will carry out an analysis and provide a remote statement based on the patient's symptoms, laboratory results and nerve measurement tests which provide additional input to support decision-making.
Mediracer Oy manufactures and sells examination technology for the field of clinical neurophysiology. The company was previously known as EMG Technologies Oy, which was a spin-off company of EMG Laboratoriot Oy established in the 1980s. Its founders and owners Veijo Lesonen and Uolevi Tolonen developed the original idea for the product. Nowadays, Mediracer Oy is a part of the Oulu-based Head group which owns several companies both in Oulu and worldwide.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (neuropathy: nerve dysfunction/degeneration)
Mrs. Yoko Keränen
Chief Business Development Officer
Elektroniikkatie 3, 90590 Oulu, FINLAND