Daniel Carlat, MDDr. Carlat has disclosed that he has no relevant financial or other interests in any commercial companies pertaining to this educational activity.
NeuroStar just announced that the FDA has cleared an updated version of its TMS system. Called the NeuroStar Advanced Therapy System, its primary claim to fame is that patients can receive a full TMS treatment in only 19 minutes, as opposed to the 40 minutes required with NeuroStar’s original system.
How was NeuroStar able to slim down the treatment time? The company tells us it trimmed the resting interval between bursts of magnetic pulses from 26 seconds to 11.
While a 19-minute treatment time sounds like a curious number to hype in marketing efforts, there is a logic to the company’s calculus. NeuroStar’s main competitor in the TMS world is the Brainsway device (http://www.brainsway.com/us), a “deep” TMS device that has been touting its 20-minute treatment duration. Compared to the old NeuroStar, 20 minutes sounded Flash Gordon–like, but the Advanced system now beats Brainsway to the finish line by a full 60 seconds.
Will this attract more psychiatrists to the NeuroStar hardware? Possibly. Some practitioners have told TCPR that, anecdotally, Brainsway seems a little more effective than NeuroStar... but there are no head-to-head trials to settle the question. And Brainsway causes more side effects, such as jaw, face, and tongue spasms—a clear disadvantage from the perspective of patient experience.