DARPA has a $79.8 million ElectRx project that aims to explore neuromodulation of organ functions to help the human body heal itself. DARPA is planning to perform human trials of ElectRx in five years.
The goal will be improving the quality of life for US soldiers and veterans, though there’s no word on which condition DARPA will focus on. The body’s peripheral nervous system constantly monitors the status of internal organs and helps regulate biological responses to infection, injury or other imbalances. When this regulatory process goes awry due to injury or illness, peripheral nerve signals can actually exacerbate a condition, causing pain, inflammation or immune dysfunction. A number of difficult-to-treat conditions might be managed more effectively by precise modulation of the peripheral nervous system than by conventional medical devices or medications.