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Implanted Neuroprosthesis for Restoration of Effective Cough

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A cost analysis was conducted to determine whether a neuroprosthesis was less or more costly compared to standard respiratory management methods (DiMarco et al. 2017). Inputs for this analysis were based on a pre-post clinical trial of the Cough Stimulator at a US hospital.  In this study, 14 individuals with tetraplegia received Cough Stimulator implantation.  Individuals were followed up for three years.  The cost of equipment, acute respiratory tract infection and caregiver support was collected through various sources over a three-year period.  Caregiver support included time spent to assist the individuals with respiratory secretion clearing.  The use of the Cough Stimulator decreased the number of respiratory tract infection and the need for caregiver support per year over three years.  The total costs in the first year after implantation was slightly higher than it was prior to implantation, but there was a statistically significant decrease in costs (compared to cost prior to implantation) in year two and three.

Based on a single study, the decrease in respiratory tract infection and amount of caregiver support over a three-year period resulted in lower overall cost with a Cough Stimulator neuroprosthesis compared to standard respiratory management for restoration of an effective cough.