Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the healthcare sector. As there are many startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising pain management startups.

Heat Map: 5 Top Pain Management Startups

For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 481 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.


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Which startups develop the other 476 solutions?


iTENS – Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation technology uses tiny electrical pulses delivered via special pads to stimulate muscles and nerves to alleviate pain. When electricity hits the nervous system, it interferes with pain signals between the fibers and the brain. The devices are small and portable and bring pain management to where it is needed.

The US-based startup iTENS offers electrotherapy solutions to manage the health of pain patients. The startup develops a wearable peel and stick gel, and companion Android and iPhone apps to monitor pain relief. The gel and the app communicate using Bluetooth.

Nalu Medical – Spinal Cord Stimulation

The spinal cord stimulation system captures and conceals pain signals before they reach the brain. This system comes is a small device, similar to a pacemaker, that delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord. This helps people better manage their chronic pain and reduce their dependence on opioid medications.

Nalu Medical is a US-based startup that develops an implantable medical device. It functions as adjunctive therapy for patients with chronic pain in the trunk or limbs. The startup also offers External Trial Stimulator (ETS) for use during a trial of Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) before implanting the permanent device.

Kipuwex – Pain Assessment

Modern tools measure a range of parameters to understand pain levels. These include heart rates, galvanic skin response (GSR), blood volume fluctuations, pupillary dilation. Computer vision and deep learning algorithms additionally recognize pain expressions without the need for a response from patients. This is very helpful for infants and other people who cannot communicate effectively.

Kipuwex is a Finland-based startup that offers a small, wireless Internet of Things (IoT) device to digitally measure physiological parameters. Their algorithms convert these physiological measurements into pain data for healthcare professionals and home users. It eliminates human error and is a convenient alternative to physiological tests.

Sooma – Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS)

Transcranial direct-current stimulation is a non-invasive brain stimulation tool that treats pain syndromes with long-lasting analgesic effects. The electrodes provide stimulation to specific areas of the brain for a few minutes, which results in alterations of cortical excitability that last for an hour or longer. It improves cognitive functions such as attention, language, and memory.

The Finnish startup Sooma manufactures devices to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders such as depression and chronic pain. Their tDCS-enabled electrical stimulator interfaces with the therapy management platform to allow healthcare professionals to monitor and manage patients’ treatment remotely.

Rescape Innovation – Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality uses special glasses or helmets to create sensory illusions and simulate reality. Besides visual, these systems may also incorporate auditory and tactile feedback using headphones and vibrating actuators. These systems pain patients to shift focus away from the pain and thereby allows them to achieve a psychological sense of presence in VR environments through sensorimotor immersion.

The UK-based startup Rescape Innovation specializes in a VR distraction therapy solution that helps with pain relief, anxiety, and stress. It provides patients with virtual experiences like traveling around the world, swimming in the oceans, interacting with animals, or engaging in skydiving and other adrenaline-fuelled activities. Their solution also applies to palliative care, dementia, and pediatrics.

What About The Other 476 Solutions?

While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 pain management startups showcased above are promising examples out of 481 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.