Pain pills are so 2014. In the future, all the cool kids will be using wearable tech to cure their aches and pains. That might sound like science fiction, but in reality, medical scientists have known how to treat pain with electrical signals for decades — and now the technology is finding its way into the world of wearable tech.
Case in point: the Cur wearable. Designed by biomedical engineer Shaun Rahimi, this ingenious little patch provides instant, on-demand pain relief at the push of a button.
To do this, Cur leverages a decades-old technique known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS for short. Basically, this technique involves delivering small (and painless) electrical pulses to your nerves via electrodes placed on your skin. These pulses are designed to confuse your nerves and cancel out the pain signal they’re sending to your brain — thereby providing instant pain relief to the area of the body on which the electrodes are placed.
TENS devices have been used to treat pain symptoms for years, but up until now, they were generally rather clunky and cumbersome to use. Cur addresses this problem, and is designed to be applied/worn just like a band-aid. To use it, you simply peel the liner from the reusable gel band, stick it to the area where you feel pain, and then attach the electronic Cur pod. After a few seconds, Cur will adjust to your body and begin sending out electrical signals to negate the pain.
We haven’t had a chance to take Cur for a spin quite yet, but according to the company’s website, the device’s nerve stimulation feels like a gentle tingling or a sensation of light vibration, similar to a light massage. You can also adjust the intensity of this sensation with “+” and “-“ buttons located on the Cur pod, or by using the accompanying smartphone app.
You can currently pre-order the device for about $150 through Cur’s website, and provided that the device wins FDA approval (still pending at this point), the company expects to begin shipping sometime this winter.
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