Local patient shares story of relief using new technology
Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth is currently recruiting participants for a research study on an innovative, non-invasive treatment for Essential Tremor (ET) beginning in January. This will be the second study conducted by EvergreenHealth within the last year for patients with ET.
The trial, sponsored by medical technology company Cala Health, is designed to relieve hand tremors using noninvasive electrical stimulation for patients living with the effects of ET. EvergreenHealth neurologist Dr. Pinky Agarwal is an investigator in the trial.
Essential Tremor is a movement disorder that affects more than 7 million Americans and is most often marked by hand tremors that intensify when patients perform intentional tasks, like eating, drinking, making phone calls or writing.
The study will explore the effectiveness of a new device called Cala TWO. With an appearance similar to a smartwatch or fitness tracker, Cala TWO is worn on the participant’s wrist for 40 minutes, twice a day, to deliver patterned electrical stimulation to nerves through the skin.
EvergreenHealth was one of four centers that tested the original Cala device, which the FDA subsequently approved. Researchers have already completed two controlled studies that showed marked improvement in patients who used the device. The new trial underway at EvergreenHealth involves a second generation of the same approved device.
“Leading important clinical research like the Cala device study is integral to advancing the health and well-being of our community,” said Pinky Agarwal, MD, FAAN. “We are grateful for our patient participants, who help us be on forefront of investigating new treatments, ultimately helping patients achieve better health outcomes.”
According to local artist Whitney Buckingham-Beechie, she has already seen results from her experience using the Cala device. After living with tremors for decades, the Edmonds, Washington, resident learned to adjust her artistic style to incorporate the effects of her unsteady hands. However, after her mother was diagnosed with a movement disorder, Buckingham-Beechie felt compelled to address her own health and sought answers from Dr. Agarwal, who diagnosed her with Essential Tremor.
“To hear that there was actually a name for what I had been experiencing most of my life was a huge relief. When Dr. Agarwal told me about the research opportunity, I jumped at the chance to participate,” Buckingham-Beechie recalled. “I believe in doing the right thing for the right reasons, and I decided that even if this trial wasn’t a success for me, the research findings could potentially help someone else. I was lucky that this technology worked for me—my tremor virtually disappeared when I was using the device.”
Now, Buckingham-Beechie is excited to pursue other techniques that require precise, steady movements with sculpture and detailed paintings. She will be participating in the next phase of the clinical trial and encourages those living with ET to consider joining the study.
Leading clinical research trials is one of many ways EvergreenHealth fulfills its commitment to meeting the growing needs of its community. As part of its 10-year Master Facilities plan, the health system is keeping pace with the community’s growth by upgrading its facilities and infrastructure to ensure its ability to provide care in the safest environment. To learn more, visit www.evergreenhealth.com/future.
To inquire about eligibility for participating in the Cala TWO clinical trial at EvergreenHealth, email EvergreenResearch@evergreenhealth.com or call the Research Main Line at (425) 899-5385. To learn about other medical trials available at EvergreenHealth, visit www.evergreenhealth.com/clinical-research.
EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system that serves nearly one million residents in King and Snohomish counties and offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. A staff of 5,000 provide clinical excellence in over 80 specialties, including heart and vascular care, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, pulmonary care, infectious disease and travel medicine, and home care and hospice services. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland, a network of 13 primary care practices, five urgent care centers, over two dozen specialty care practices and 24/7 emergency care at its Kirkland, Monroe, and Redmond campuses. In 2015, the system expanded to include EvergreenHealth Monroe – an accredited, full-service 74-bed public hospital district, established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. EvergreenHealth has clinical and strategic partnerships with several health care entities, including Overlake Medical Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and dozens of independent practices that are part of the clinically integrated Eastside Health Network and the Puget Sound High Value Network. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.
In 2017, EvergreenHealth achieved its ninth designation in the last 10 years (2009-2012, and 2014-2018) as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades® and was again named one of Healthgrades 2018 America’s 100 Best Hospitals, placing it among the top 2 percent of hospitals nationwide based on its outstanding clinical performance. The health system was one of 750 hospitals in the country to earn an ‘A’ grade for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group and holds a 5-Star Overall Rating from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), one of only 337 nationwide. For more information, visit www.evergreenhealth.com.
About Cala Health
Cala Health is a medical technology company pioneering a new class of electrical medicine. The company is merging innovations in neuroscience and electronics to deliver individualized, prescription neuromodulation therapies. These therapies treat chronic disease non-invasively by stimulating peripheral nerves with body-worn electronics. The company is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and backed by leading investors in both healthcare and technology, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., Lux Capital, Lightstone Ventures, GV, dRx Capital and Action Potential Venture Capital. To learn more, visit www.calahealth.com.
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