Heads-up: The Institute of Medicine (IOM), a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, is putting together a forward-looking workshop on Non-Invasive Neuromodulation of the Central Nervous System. March 2–3rd, 2015, in Washington, DC.
Description: Based on advances in biotechnology and neuroscience, neuromodulation devices are poised to gain clinical importance in the coming years and to be of increasing interest to patients, health care providers and payers, and industry. Emerging evidence suggests that the potential therapeutic and non-therapeutic uses of non-invasive neuromodulation devices for the central nervous system are broad and will continue to expand. Along with the growing number of opportunities, there are challenges and open questions associated with the use of these devices. Currently, there is a need for greater understanding of the potential benefits and risks; in particular, of the short- and long-term impact of using these devices. From a regulatory standpoint, there are scientific and clinical questions that are important for regulatory approval and usability for consumers. A third area of consideration is the existing, and appropriate, levels of evidence for reimbursement. Several issues raise ethical questions, including the potential for off-label, over-the-counter, or “do it yourself” uses or for enhancement. Given the growing interest in non-invasive neuromodulation devices for the central nervous system, the goal of this workshop is to explore opportunities, challenges, and ethical questions surrounding the development, regulation and reimbursement of such devices.