One of the most promising new treatments for erectile dysfunction is Low-Intensity Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (LI-ESWT, or “shockwave therapy”).
The treatment uses a device that administers low intensity sound waves to the penis in order to promote vascular regeneration. Dozens of clinical trials1 have shown it to be a safe and effective treatment for vascular erectile dysfunction (ED resulting from insufficient bloodflow).
The treatment is administered in a clinic using an expensive medical device (which can cost $30,000 or more). Patients usually receive several treatments per week, over a period of 6 to 12 weeks, and the total cost can be $3,000 to $10,000.
It’s important to note that LI-ESWT is not a permanent cure. Patients lose the beneficial effects after one to two years, and must repeat the process, making this a very expensive treatment option.
Shockwave Therapy at Home
A southern California company, Launch Medical, has recently announced a new product, the Rocket, which allows men to administer LI-ESWT therapy at home.
We spoke to Dustin Wolff, a co-founder of Launch Medical, who stated that the Rocket uses the exact same treatment protocol (number of pulses, frequency, and intensity) as the clinical equipment. The company provides clear instructions – including online videos – on how to use the device, and how many sessions are required.
Launch Medical has tested the Rocket technology with hundreds of patients and seen significant improvements in SHIM scores. (They have not published an FDA-approved clinical study because the costs are prohibitive for a small company.)
The Rocket is expected to begin shipping in January, and will sell for $749. The company is currently accepting pre-orders at an introductory price of $399.
Is It Too Good to Be True?
We asked Dustin how the company is able to sell the device for such a low price, when clinical shockwave devices cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The big difference is the amount of use the device will get. A clinical unit is used all day, every day, for weeks or months at a time between servicing. The home unit will only be used once per day, every few days, until the treatment is completed, so it doesn’t need to be “industrial grade.”
He also stated that the company has made several advances to improve and lower the cost of the device, and has filed three patents.
The Bottom Line
Shockwave therapy has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for vascular erectile dysfunction. It is not an effective treatment for other causes of ED, such as nerve damage, low testosterone, or side effects of medications.
The Rocket brings the price of shockwave therapy down to an affordable point, and allows men to administer the treatment themselves in the privacy of their home. If the company can deliver on its promises, Rocket will be a revolutionary new option for men with ED.
- Sokolakis, Ioannis; Hatzichristodoulou, Georgios. “Clinical studies on low intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” International Journal of Impotence Research. Jan 2019. <https://www.nature.com/articles/s41443-019-0117-z>