Wednesday, June 15, 2022

MedTech Integration for Real-Time Ortho Solutions

To see complete series, visit: MEDTECH REVIEWS

By: Josh T. Schueller, PT

March 22, 2022 –  In a joint effort between clinical advisors of the Integrative Pain Healers Alliance and producers of MedTech Reviews, a unique research project was recently launched to support Athletic Injuries.  The program is comprised of a multi-discipline strategy merging the benefits of medical imaging with orthopedic treatment has launched a comprehensive image guided sports care study at Bard Diagnostic Imaging Center (NYC). 

Dr. Robert Bard, chief radiologist and tech analyst is a life-long advocate of non-invasive diagnostic and treatment modalities and has amassed some of the most recognized scanning and therapeutic solutions.  His "synchronized care" design is part of his brainchild to unite pre-existing compatible technologies to streamline patient care efficiency.

In 2015, Dr. Oz aired a program about an "invisible treatment" for chronic pain designed to "change the practice of medicine"- casting a wave of commercial attention to the patient community desperate for pain relief- and hope for the reversal of pain-related ailments. Pulsed Elecromagnetic Field Therapy or PEMF is the induction of electromagnetic fields to promote the synthesis of cellular, muscular and skeletal matrix [1].  Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) provide a non-invasive, safe, and easy method to treat and rehabilitate a growing list of health issues. The therapeutic theory behind this innovation is designed to affect the body at the extracellular level- imposing the ability to transduce or separate mechanical charge to electrical energy.  This has been reported to affect the alignment and physical properties of tissues & cell nutrition toward the healing process.[2]  Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and magnetic therapy presents a major increase in research attention in the past decade for its ability to directly treat the site of injury. [3] - (see complete article)

Since then, other non-invasive devices have entered the market for a wide range of symptoms and health issues, including: RF (Radiofrequency) Therapy, TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), Shockwave Therapy and Cold Laser therapy- to name a few.


For Dr. Bard, real-time monitoring efficacy of treatment not new. Since the global expansion of ultrasound imaging technology in the medical community (early 1970's), Dr. Bard predicted the future in diagnostic care and clinical research studies to comport with safe, non-radiation and portable alternatives.  The idea of using sound waves to read hemodynamics (blood flow) to quantifiably measure and detect tumors, inflammatory skin diseases, deep organ disorders, musculoskeletal injuries is what he considers "data gathering at its finest".

Dr. Bard aligned with physiatrists from the realm of functional medicine to explore and refine what he aims to propose to be the next stage of evolution for imaging. “Combining the functions of real-time monitoring of ultrasound with these regenerative stimulators, we are able to see their immediate effects on the body.  With enough stress testing, we have proven that we have 100% compatibility (and no signal disruption) between the ultrasound probes while scanning the areas under electronic treatment- or vice-versa.  This is great news because our tests are of the body’s biometric response on a micro level- and these treatment devices all have some complex magnetic signals and emitters that may conflict with sound waves”, states Dr. Bard.

With the support of Dr. Noelle Cutter (bioclinical researcher & professional triathlete) and program director Lennard Gettz, the most current version of this data-gathering and reporting program was approved in April, 2021 in a 6-month performance study of the effects of wearable neurostimulation technology (called Axiobionics)- see report.

Since 1972, Dr. Bard has provided imaging care to countless patients with a wide range of health issues and injuries- and athletes from all sports are a major part of this collective. The concept of an integrative program for athletes was formalized in 2020 thanks to allies in sports medicine, orthopedics, medical device innovators, professional athletic trainers and supportive health organizations.  

Dr. Donna Febres, Medical Science Liaison @ Janssen Pharmaceuticals and a long-time colleage of Dr. Bard's introduced her own 19 year old son, Noah Febres to the program - a multi-disciplined competitive athlete who recently contracted a knee injury (of the patella tendon) from a basketball tournament. “The athletic community is one of the most ideal patient types for this exact research study”, says Dr. Noelle Cutter, Molloy College Professor/Faculty Athletic Representative and imaging research partner. “Our athletic injuries program is about strategic tracking of MSK therapeutic performance. Scanning injuries helps us collect significant data on the most common injuries and how to better track/monitor quantitative metrics throughout the treatment process.”

After his first treatment, Noah immediately recognized the value of this non-surgical alternative to reducing his pain.  Having direct contact with the scan and the imaging interpreter while undergoing treatment in real-time, Noah expressed reassurance in the health of his knee and how his body responded to the electromagnetic stimulation treatment.  “From day one, Dr. Bard scanned my knee and found the problem right away.  It was a little bit of fluid which (apparently is what) causes pain-- what doctors call patella tendonitis.  He said it's nothing too serious and that my knee was very healthy and strong.  He explained that the EMF device and my healing ability was a good match for progress.”

Noah is one of many athletes that experienced the benefits of Dr. Bard’s diagnostic imaging. “Musculoskeletal injuries are most common in the athletic community”, says Dr. Bard. “The patella tendon is frequently injured, especially in sports training. Access to this is superficial structure is immediate as we place the ultrasound transducer right on top of the painful tendon  This area can be imaged simultaneously with energy based treatments while you're scanning to observe any changes in the blood flow of the injured patella tendon. High resolution sonograms like the T3200 have five times the resolution of MRI and often show subtle tears or early degeneration than may result in complete rupture if not treated early.”

The concept of spotting and localizing the area of concern is a true partnership between the ultrasound tech and the patient. More than communicating where the pain may be, Dr. Bard often hands the probe to the patient to help pinpoint the exact area of pain (and injury).  This is a unique advantage of ultrasound over any other imaging technology. And with the real-time screen monitoring, seeing what the transducer scans helps navigate the exact target on the body. Combined with real-time tracking of electronic stimulation, scanning the progress on the area of injury becomes a completely interactive care experience.

Creators of the multi-medtech academic study was designed originally by the AngioFoundation with a partnership with FA.C.E.S. (Firefighters Against Cancers and Exposures) to form case studies with first responders and their injuries.  Exploration of modern, non-invasive therapeutics has been spearheaded by the NY Cancer Resource Alliance to report on the immediate physiological effects of any medical device under review using ultrasound and other non-invasive scanning methods.  Additional projects have been included to collect patient response data on therapeutic devices.

On a separate interview, NFL Alumni Director of Wellness Challenge Mr. Russ Allen applauds Dr. Bard’s research initiative for athletic injuries and the use of non-invasive intervention to get players back on the field.  “I have been a major fan of this PEMF technology for over a decade”, said Mr. Allen. “Someday, I hope to see the thought of drugs, shots and surgery in the past tense. So much about conventional medicine (and sports medicine) need an upgrade… especially when we have so many of these innovations that clearly show proven and sustainable results.  Dr. Bard is definitely on the right side of science by validating through imaging and encouraging non-invasive care, where seeing is believing.”

By Donna Febres, Ph.D

Pain is something that I'm learning as a parent, that many athletes will just be living through. Some undergo chronic pain and others deal with acute pain as well.  I speak to many professional athletes and their families about living with injuries and I had to come to grips with the fact that my son who loves contact sports was going to somehow, some way will get injured.  That’s just the nature of the sports he plays.  From the sidelines (in recovery), I can see them reflect on the many kinds of measures available to get back on their feet, or at the very least- get some relief.  For my son, I found myself doing deep research on the latest protocols and any new modalities. I was completely amazed by this electromagnetic field science for the opportunity to bring recovery non-invasively.  Having further discussed this technology with one of the top orthopedic surgeons was the reassurance I needed that managing my son’s injury was in very safe hands!  Thanks to Dr. Bard’s process, I watched my son get back on the field after one treatment, and having the means of monitoring the injury in progress- is absolutely remarkable science.  

By: Josh Schueller, PT

As non-invasive treatments such as electromagnetic and neuro-stimulation devices have shown significant evidence as a safe and effective option for wellness and pain relief within recent decades, one possible bodily reaction may occur that can feel adversely as pain or discomfort- possibly being misunderstood as a side effect of the treatment.  This physiological reaction is called Herxheimer Reaction. This can occur when dead microbes or bacteria release endotoxins into your body at an accelerating rate.   This accelerated release is quicker than the body can eliminate.  The body then initiates an immune response which can bring on an inflammatory response.  Otherwise known as "Herk reactions", this reaction is commonly a temporary and short term (normally only last a couple hours to days) detoxification reaction in your body.  Common symptoms can resemble the flu- headache, joint and muscle ache, malaise, chills, nausea, sore throat etc.   This reaction is caused by the detoxification of the body.  Staying hydrated is one way to help flush your body and decrease the symptoms.   

The buildup of toxins in the cells can decrease your health and wellness.  Cell phones, computers, TV, air quality, improper hydration, and poor-quality foods can all lead to poor cellular health.  When treatments that help detoxify, the body initially occurs occasionally this is when the Herx Reaction occurs. Herx reaction is not common but can occur.  Education and communicating to the user on the possibility will improve outcomes and the persons reaction.  These symptoms peaks eight hours after treatment and disappears normally within 24-36 hours. 


"Dr. Bard continues his crusade as an advocate for validation of different therapeutics that are available.  His unbiased, scientifically based assessment of PEMF and other modalities allows health care professionals and consumers to understand what is occurring with these techniques.   The technology and accessibility of point of care US imagining, that shows actual movement of blood flow or muscles contraction, is a pivotal development in health care.  Dr. Bard does a phenomenal job of demonstrating these findings in a variety of situations.   The findings are indisputable and eliminates all doubt as to what is occurring." 

The use of ultrasound doppler to show before and after changes made after guided electromagnetic therapy sessions to collect positive biometric data is the missing link healthcare has been looking for regarding in vivo objective changes that will ultimately prove that PEMF is not an analgesic, but rather THE mode of treatment to repair injured tissue. Dr. Bard and his Ultrasound Validation of Electromagnetic Stimulation Technology sets the bar and opens the doorway for this essential non-invasive PEMF treatment modality to become the frontrunner of advanced healing techniques."  - 
JERRY DREESSEN, DC.  Chiropractor / Wellness Advocate


SPECIAL THANKS: Our producers wish to express our most heartfelt thanks to the Febres family, especially Dr. Donna Febres and Noah Febres for sharing their story for this feature. We also give special thanks to and Dr. Jerry Dreessen of AOPP (Assoc. of PEMF Professionals), Alice Chiang of Terason Ultrasound and Patrick Ziemer of Aura Wellness for the use of their respective technologies under the IPHA/MedTech Reviews at the Bard Diagnostic Imaging Center (NYC) as their generous contributions this feature report could not have been made possible.

1) Ehnert, Sabrina; Schröter, Steffen; Aspera-Werz, Romina H.; Eisler, Wiebke; Falldorf, Karsten; Ronniger, Michael; Nussler, Andreas K. (December 2019). "Translational Insights into Extremely Low Frequency Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (ELF-PEMFs) for Bone Regeneration after Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery". Journal of Clinical Medicine. 8 (12): 2028. doi:10.3390/jcm8122028. PMC 6947624. PMID 31756999.


3) Electromagnetic Field Therapy: A Rehabilitative Perspective in the Management of Musculoskeletal Pain – A Systematic Review J Pain Res. 2020; 13: 1385–1400. Published online 2020 Jun 12. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S231778  PMCID: PMC7297361 PMID: 32606905

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