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Device Maker Has Plans to Go Directly to Patients

By Sherry Hsieh Monday, March 12, 2018

Electronic Waveform Lab Inc. makes electrical stimulation devices designed to noninvasively treat pain and help with rehabilitation without drugs. Largely driven by the opioid epidemic, which President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency in October, the company now offers pain device H-Wave over the counter.

“The over-the-counter model offers more options and more marketing opportunities,” said President Ryan Heaney. H-Wave received Food and Drug Administration clearance for over-the-counter use last month. It’s heretofore directed marketing at doctors, who prescribe the device to patients. With the latest clearance, it can now ramp up direct-to-patient marketing. It’s bringing on Irvine-based marketing agency Gigasavvy to help with the launch.

“We’ve been in the home market for quite a while. That has always been our focus … if you want to take that pill bottle from patients, you have to have something that they can take home,” Heaney said.

The family-owned company was founded in Huntington Beach in 1981. Its flagship H-Wave device can be used in a clinical setting but is most effective when used at home several times per week or day. Sessions typically last 30 to 60 minutes each.

“We provide individualized training and support to help you [use the device at home],” Heaney said. The company, which has over 150 employees, puts about 75 in the field to work with patients. Education and support are available to all customers, including for the over-the-counter home device.

The company said H-Wave’s technology stands apart from other electrotherapy modalities. “Most electrical stimulation devices are about masking pain while the device is on. We want to get to the root cause of the pain,” Heaney said.

H-Wave is covered by some insurance plans, but the bulk of sales are through a national federal supply contract to military veterans hospitals. Heaney said self-pay is currently less than 10% of its business, but “that is where we are looking to actively grow.”

Professional sports franchises have also been customers.

He said the increase in out-of-pocket expenses means U.S. patients have to decide “what you have to do with that money if you want the best care.”

The home H-Wave costs about $3,300 with self-pay.

All services, including manufacturing, repairs and research and development, are done in-house. Its Huntington Beach headquarters totals 27,000 square feet.

(Original story: 


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