ELECTRODE PLACEMENT DEVICE
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to an electrode placement device for automatically placing and securing electrodes for transcutaneous nerve stimulation, monitoring of body functions, etc.
At present, transcutaneous nerve stimulation (hereinafter referred to as TENS) to relieve pain is carried out by placing electrodes on specific body portions of the patient. The precise locations of the electrodes is critical for best results. When using a TENS device in connection with management of pain, it is time consuming for a practitioner to locate the electrodes at proper points on the patient to provide the desired pain relieving results. Moreover, after the patient leaves the practitioner's office and takes the TENS device home, it is extremely difficult for the patient, using present-day devices and electrodes, to locate by himself the correct locations for placement of the electrodes to provide best pain relieving results. Particular considerations apply with respect to the shoulder, neck, upper and lower back areas and other areas of the body which are neither visible nor normally accessible for self placement of the electrodes, especially for people who are in pain and who may have limited body movement capabilities.
It is extremely difficult for the patient to secure the electrodes at the proper location sites. Current practice is to utilize adhesive tape patches over the electrodes, adhesive coated electrodes or strips of adhering paper using 3M adhesive preparations trademarked Dermacil and Micropore @ which adhere to the skin. The electrodes must be secured for many hours since the devices are used intermittently throughout the day and transported by the patient connected to the body. Suction cup and other self adhering electrodes will not remain attached to the body for necessary time periods. When using TENS and related electronic devices, the patient is cautioned against continued use if skin rash or irritation is caused by the adhesive. The present invention eliminates the need for adhesives and possible side effects from their usage.
In some cases, it is difficult for the practitioner to even find the proper locations for placement of the electrodes on the patient's body. The present invention has been designed to obviate or reduce this difficulty.
While the above description is given with respect to TENS devices, similar considerations also apply for various other electronic devices requiring electrode placement at specific body locations. Throughout the following specification, only TENS devices will be discussed, it being apparent that various other electronic devices which require electrode placement on the body are within the scope of this disclosure.
The object of the present invention is to provide a device which permits automatic accurate and easy location of electrodes on the body of the patient for use with, for example, TENS devices or other electronic devices requiring continuously secure and accurate electrode placement against the body of a patient. It is also an object that the patient can repeatedly achieve such accurate electrode placement after leaving the practitioner's office.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a device which enables electrodes to be accurately lo
cated at specific body locations in a simple, repeatable and expedient manner.
A further object of the invention is to provide such a device which enables a great variety of electronic stim5 ulation points to be selected so that the device may be used for multiple purposes.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide such a device which is simple in construction reliable, long lasting easily adjustable and which may be laundered or 10 otherwise cleaned so as to keep it in a sanitary condition. It may be made of one or more parts which may be easily detached from each other.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
15 In accordance with the present invention, a device for continuously secure placement of electrodes against a body of a wearer, and for automatically locating at least one electrode at a predetermined location adjacent the body of a wearer, comprises a first portion which is
20 adapted to be placed against a body portion of a wearer, the first portion having at least one electrode at at least one of a plurality of positions thereon, and means for electrically connecting the at least one electrode to an electrical signal generating and/or receiving device. Further provided is means for removably securing the device to the body of the wearer with the at least one electrode adjacent to a predetermined body portion of the wearer. A locating means is provided on the device
30 for cooperating with a predetermined body portion of the wearer for positively locating the device relative to the predetermined body portion, thereby insuring that the device is positively located with the at least one electrode adjacent to the body at the proper position on
35 the body of the wearer.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a view of the inside portion of a belt-like device for use in locating electrodes in the vicinity of 40 the lower back;
FIG. 1A is an exploded sectional view of the portion designated 1A—1A in FIG. 1;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a typical electrode for use with the device of FIG. 1; 45 FIG. 3 is an outside view of the device of FIG. 1; FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the connector portion of the device of FIGS. 1 and 3, showing how the device is electrically connected to an electronic device, such as a TENS device; SO FIG. 5 is an inner or body-side view of a modified device;
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the device of FIG. 5 showing how connections are made to an electrode; FIG. 7 is a partial inner or body side view of a further 55 modified device for use with different type electrodes; FIG. 8 is a rear view of a snap-type electrode for use with the device of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a partial view of the inner or body side of a further modified device of the present invention; FIG. 10 is a partial outer view of the device of FIG.
FIG. 11 is a partial outer view, similar to the outer view of FIG. 10 showing a modified arrangement of the invention;
FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate further modified embodiments of the invention;
FIGS. 14 and 15 illustrate front and back views, respectively, of another embodiment of the invention;