2020 Tibbetts Award Winner

Pain Care Labs

In 2009 an SBIR award allowed Amy Baxter, a Pediatric Emergency MD to develop Buzzy®, a device for vaccination pain. Today Pain Care Labs is a global innovator making revolutionary science- backed, drug-free pain relief therapies.

Impact & Achievements

Pain Care Labs continues to innovate and enhance the scientific acceptance of external neuromodulation, reduce opioid use, and facilitate continued growth to spread its products universally.

Studies show that a remarkable 28% of the population has some degree of fear of needles or injections. As a pediatric emergency doctor and pain researcher, Dr. Amy Baxter invented Buzzy®, which is now the number one needle pain blocking medical device in the world. To date, Pain Care Labs (a dba of MMJ Labs) has provided drug free pain relief for over 35,000,000 needle injections.

So, how does it work? When you put a burned finger under cold running water, the pain instantly goes away – Pain Care Labs simulates this same pain relief with ice and vibration. The technology is 10 times faster, 14 times less expensive, and more effective than other needle pain interventions. Initially, Dr. Baxter took Buzzy® to Shark Tank as a consumer device, but turned down offers because they didnʼt see Buzzyʼs® full potential. When people started using Buzzy instead of drugs after surgery, Dr. Baxter realized that she and her team didnʼt understand the potential themselves. Today, the company has expanded its patents and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearances and are taking the technology from needles to knee and back pain through its new technology, VibraCool®. The initial Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding in 2009 enabled the development and evolution of this device that started with vaccination pain and is now used by adults to avoid opioids.

Pain Care Labs discovered and patented the optimal frequency to maximize gate control pain relief six years before independent confirmation, and patented combining thermal and mechanical frequencies to optimize pain relief. In 2014, the company was granted a novel product code from the FDA, with broad clearances enabling it to be used for injuries and musculoskeletal pain. Today, its patent portfolio includes 8 issued patents and 2 pending expansions for a broad and growing range of healthcare applications. Pain Care Labs has advanced the technological approach and understanding of frequency with mechanical oscillatory energy for pain and rehabilitation – the companyʼs needle pain research has generated more data than for any other intervention, and is now being tested by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to see if it reduces fainting with HPV vaccines, which could improve vaccination adherence.

The SBIR funding enabled the company to grow and become profitable – in the past year, Pain Care Labs has doubled its revenue from expanding relationships with industry partners and its pipeline for 2020 includes half a million dollars in pharma launch pre- orders. Additionally, the company expects a new low back pain device that will disrupt the standard treatment protocols. Patients using the companyʼs VibraCool® product for ACL Reconstruction averaged 10 opioids, and 86% were finished with opioids by their 4- day follow-up. The VibraCool® frequency alone relieved pain 167% better than transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units.

Today, Buzzy® devices are being sold in 27 countries and Pain Care Labs is on track for $2 million in revenue this year, with multiple large deals in progress. The company plans to continue to innovate and enhance the scientific acceptance of external neuromodulation, reduce opioid use, and facilitate continued growth to spread its products universally.