Now that we’re a few days on from IFA, we can start taking a look at some of the more low-key announcements to come out of one of the world’s biggest stages for consumer electronics. And, as is so often the case, those low-key announcements are often some of the best.
BlueTouch and Pulse Relief, from Philips, could make a huge difference in the lives of millions. The two new wireless devices provide pain relief in different ways, both of which are non-medical and non-invasive. They’re basically like soothing patches, but they’re app-controlled and powered by some of the most advanced over-the-counter pain relief technology out there.
BlueTouch is a patch for back pain that uses blue LED light to alleviate pain. Blue LED light stimulates the production of nitric oxide in the target area, which helps to stimulate blood circulation to the affected area. This helps the body to better heal itself, making for a much more reliable and long-term pain relief solution than relying on traditional, medical painkillers. Philips did a test run of BlueTouch, and found that 76.8 percent of BlueTouch users reported experiencing mild pain (as opposed to moderate or severe pain), versus 26 percent before use. Using an app, BlueTouch can be manually controlled or scheduled, and you can check logs of how much you’ve used BlueTouch.
PulseRelief is meant for use anywhere on the body, and uses Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation therapy, which uses electrical pulses to stimulate nerves. This helps to amplify natural pain suppression, while encouraging the production of endorphins that will help chronic pain sufferers stay active. Once again, a companion app controls the patch, this time allowing users several targeted pain relief programs and one of 60 levels of intensity.
Both devices are meant not only to provide non-medical pain relief, but to keep people active. Not only does that help with short-term pain relief, it helps avoid the long-term danger of a vicious cycle—chronic pain leading to avoidance of activity, which makes chronic pain worse in turn. Philips also mentioned that staying active in the face of chronic pain can also help to prevent the onset of depression, so BlueTouch and PulseRelief could be just as important for mental health as for physical health.
It should be noted that, for now, only compatibility with iOS has been explicitly mentioned.