Two spinal surgeons, Mitchell Reiter, MD, and Mark Drzala, MD, have developed the first wearable metal allergy testing device.
The surgeons, who are co-owners of Summit-based New Jersey Spine Specialists, became aware that many patients were not healing from routine metal implant procedures, experiencing persistent pain and other symptoms for weeks or months.
Patients were often diagnosed with nebulous conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, lyme disease, or even depression.
One patient developed extensive skin rashes, and testing revealed a severe reaction to cobalt. When the metal device was removed, all symptoms resolved.
Dr. Reiter and Dr. Drzala realized that metal allergy tests were not a part of the routine tests performed before metal implantations.
The surgeons were then inspired to develop Sensiband, a wristband that holds medically pure metal discs against a patient's skin for up to a week.
The testing device relies on a harmless skin reaction to detect an allergy, rather than sending patients to a physician's office for skin patch or blood testing.
The Sensiband can test for nickel, cobalt, titanium and chromium, all metals found in knee and hip replacements. If patients show an allergy, they can inform physicians, who can choose appropriate implants.
Sensiband is an FDA-registered class 1 medical device, according to a March 21 press release.