Orthopedic Surgeons Invent Wearable Metal Allergy Test Device

The doctors developed and designed SENSIBAND, a sporty hypoallergenic wrist band.


Two spinal surgeons, Drs. Mitchell Reiter and Mark Drzala, became aware that many patients who underwent routine metal implant procedures were experiencing poor outcomes.

Although these procedures had been executed properly, weeks and months later, some patients experienced persistent pain. Others reported generalized symptoms including fatigue, chronic aches, and weakness. Drs. Drzala and Reiter noticed that many physicians were diagnosing these patients with nebulous conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and Lyme disease. Some were diagnosed with psychological conditions like depression. 

After one of their patients developed extensive skin rashes after implantation of an artificial cervical metallic disc replacement device, subsequent testing identified a severe allergy to cobalt. When medications failed to provide relief, surgical intervention was necessary to remove the device, and all allergic symptoms resolved.

Even Dr. Drzala himself had been suffering with unusual symptoms including fatigue, episodic brain fog, and burning pain in his extremities. After consulting more than a dozen specialists, he was diagnosed with a metal allergy due to the mercury in his silver dental fillings, which were removed, and his symptoms resolved.

These experiences led the doctors to question whether the metals within implanted medical devices could be problematic. They were also keenly aware that routine testing for allergies to metals prior to implant surgery rarely occurred.

Their goal was to create an at-home early warning device that would help individuals identify allergies to metals to help avoid potential adverse reactions caused by medical implants, piercings, and jewelry. The doctors developed and designed SENSIBAND, a sporty hypoallergenic wrist band that holds interchangeable medically pure metal discs against the skin for as long as one week. It is the first patented wearable metal test kit in the world.

SENSIBAND's easy-to-use, more affordable and convenient testing kits rely on a harmless skin reaction to detect metal allergies. Sensiband is a wearable wristband that is convenient and can be used at home, work, and/or play rather than having to visit a physician's office to undergo one of the two current test options, which include skin patch or blood testing, which are inconvenient, expensive, and burdened with limitations.

Each SENSIBAND kit contains Nickel, Cobalt, Titanium, Chromium and other metals commonly found in knee and hip replacements, dental implants, and even cardiac stents. If a skin reaction develops (contact dermatitis), it's likely that individual is allergic to that metal. They can then inform their surgeon of their allergy. Doctors have implant options and can choose the most appropriate implants for their patients and can avoid those metals to which patients are allergic. 

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