Grants to Study Imaging Technology Use for Pain Management Included in New Opioids Law

10.24.18

Legislation Recently Signed by the President will Promote the Development of Ultrasound-Guided Technology as an Alternative to Opioid-Based Pain Management

WASHINGTON – The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) – the leading organization and collective voice of medical imaging equipment, radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators, and product developers – cheered the inclusion of a bipartisan provision to facilitate the development of ultrasound-guided technologies as an alternative to using opioids for pain management in the final SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act recently signed into law.

“Pain-management alternatives to opioids are key to solving this on-going crisis,” said Joe Robinson, Chairman of the MITA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Health Systems Solutions at Philips Healthcare. “We’re encouraged by lawmakers’ commitment to support research and innovation that helps patients in pain while also mitigating addiction risk.”

Included in the law is direction to the Department of Health and Human Services to provide technical assistance to hospitals and other acute care providers to develop and test alternative pain management protocols meant to limit the use of opioids, including such technologies as ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia and focused ultrasound therapy.

Ultrasound technology has the potential to transform the practice of pain management. Using the power of direct visualization, clinicians can safely and routinely perform ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia to deliver pain relief without the use of opioids or other pain medication. Focused ultrasound therapy has also been shown to be effective in suppressing or stimulating nerve activity with the goal of relieving both acute and chronic pain.

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