Skip to main content

Surgery-free ‘nasal airway remodeler’ boosts airflow in congested patients’ noses

Patients Can Breathe Easy: New Procedure Helps Improve Nasal Airflow

Tens of millions of Americans suffer from sinus pain and inflammation due to obstruction of the nasal cavity. This can cause chronic congestion, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. While it’s possible to temporarily alleviate some of these symptoms with medication, in the long term, the only proven solution is for a patient to undergo nasal surgery. That could be about to change, however.

A Sunnyvale, California-based startup called Aerin Medical has developed a noninvasive device to help solve this problem, which it can reportedly do with both minimal discomfort to the patient and, just as importantly, long-lasting results.

“This device helps to reshape the nasal valve region in order to improve airflow,” Ohio State University’s Dr. Brad Otto, leader of an ongoing clinical trial, told Digital Trends. “For many people, the nasal valve is a very important region in the perception of normal, good airflow. This solves the problem of nasal obstruction for those people whose nasal valve contributes to the obstruction.”

Ohio State University

The Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling device works by applying radio frequency energy to cartilage in the patient’s nose. Before the procedure is performed, computed tomography (CT) scans are taken to reveal exactly how the airflow through the nasal cavity is being affected by the blockage. The wand-like nasal airway remodeling device then targets energy toward the affected areas. No anesthetic is needed, and there’s no sustained recovery period, as would be the case after invasive surgery.

“We have performed the procedure on nine patients,” Otto said. “We plan to perform the procedure on a total of 15 patients for the purposes of this study. We do not have any publishable results related to the study at this time. The trial is aimed at determining the effectiveness of the procedure in improving nasal obstruction, and is also aimed at examining the effects the procedure has on nasal airflow, as determined by computational fluid dynamics.”

If you want to be among those in the clinical trial, you can get in touch to put yourself forward as a test subject. With the promise of greatly improved breathing, there’s not a whole lot for you to lose — and that includes your nose cartilage.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Digital Trends’ Top Tech of CES 2023 Awards
Best of CES 2023 Awards Our Top Tech from the Show Feature

Let there be no doubt: CES isn’t just alive in 2023; it’s thriving. Take one glance at the taxi gridlock outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and it’s evident that two quiet COVID years didn’t kill the world’s desire for an overcrowded in-person tech extravaganza -- they just built up a ravenous demand.

From VR to AI, eVTOLs and QD-OLED, the acronyms were flying and fresh technologies populated every corner of the show floor, and even the parking lot. So naturally, we poked, prodded, and tried on everything we could. They weren’t all revolutionary. But they didn’t have to be. We’ve watched enough waves of “game-changing” technologies that never quite arrive to know that sometimes it’s the little tweaks that really count.

Read more
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more