Philips is releasing a new device to treat mild to moderate cases of psoriasis vulgaris without resorting to medication. The Philps BlueControl uses an array of LEDs to shine blue light onto the skin in order to control the high rate at which cells divide, the root cause of the disease. The patient can use the device at any time and on any part of the body where the BlueControl can be strapped to. The unit is battery powered and has only a power button to turn it on and off. Once activated, the 40 LEDs within the device project high intensity light that, for safety, doesn’t have a UV component. According to studies, the light does indeed help slow down cell division and leads to less pain thanks to reduced inflammation.
Philips conducted two clinical trials in partnership with the University Hospital of Aachen to investigate the efficacy and safety of Philips BlueControl to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis vulgaris. In the second trial that took place over 4 months (completed in June 2014), patients were treated for 12 weeks. The results showed a 50% reduction on average of symptoms according to the Local Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) which measures the severity of psoriasis plaques (thickness, redness and scaling). No negative side-effects of the blue LED light treatment were observed. LEDs for medical treatments require special features which exceed those of conventional LEDs, including high intensities and tailored adjustments such as pulsed LED light. Philips BlueControl is the result of rigorous research with clinical and academic partners and a complex optimization procedure to enable medical grade features to be included in a compact, easy-to-use design.