Philips aims to relieve persistent pain with smartphone-controlled devices

Philips will soon launch a couple of iPhone- and iPad-controlled devices, but they're not the company's usual phone docks or Hue smartlight models -- they're gadgets designed to help suppress persistent pain. The first device (above) called PulseRelief uses Transcutaneous Electronic Nerve Stimulation or TENS technology, which delivers electric pulses straight to your nerves. That's supposed to prevent pain signals from reaching your brain and to release endorphins, chemicals that make you feel good and happy. There are tons of similar gadgets out there (search for "TENS device" on eBay and Amazon to see what we mean), but Philips' version lets you choose from 60 intensity levels through its smartphone app.

Philips created PulseRelief to target those suffering from musculoskeletal pain, but its other high-tech pain reliever called BlueTouch was made to relieve muscular back pain, in particular. If BlueTouch (below) looks familiar, it's because an older version has long been available for sale. The device shines blue LED lights against your skin, which Philips claims can induce the body to release Nitric Oxide that increases blood flow and encourages the natural healing process. Like PulseRelief, this iteration comes with a phone app, where you can choose from various treatments. Both devices will be out in stores later this September and online in November, but make sure to read up on the medical claims behind the devices (the old BlueTouch had its share of doubters) and consult your doctor before getting one.