Oska Pulse pain-relief wearable adds pain-tracking app at CES
The device's Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) therapeutic technology promises to help reduce chronic pain -- and now it's getting new features.
David CarnoyExecutive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
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You've probably never heard of Oska Wellness, but it's a startup that makes the Oska Pulse ($399), a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) device that's designed to help alleviate chronic muscle pain by increasing blood flow to impacted areas of your body. Now the device is getting an app, Oska Pulse Active, that tracks your pain relief progress. The app will also be able to remotely control the device over Bluetooth.
The Oska Pulse is available now but the companion app isn't due to arrive, on iOS and Android, until this spring. UK and Australian prices weren't available, but $399 converts to about £295 or AU$510.
Oska bills the Pulse as a "safe, easy-to-use, portable and wearable health technology product designed to help reduce muscle stiffness, temporarily relieve minor pain and increase mobility for people who have acute or chronic pain." The company says the Pulse "can help dilate blood vessels, which may reduce inflammation and increase blood flow."
I've tried the Pulse, using it mainly at night (some people wear it all day) and I think it does help alleviate some pain. But it's hard to quantify just how much therapy it's providing. When you wear it, you don't feel much, although sometimes your skin gets a little warm underneath the device, which has a pulsating blue light when it's on.
It charges via Micro-USB and its battery life is very good. You can wear it for several hours and strap it onto just about anywhere on your body using the included compression wrap.
My only problem with the device is that it's a little too expensive. Although the quality and durability improved with the second-generation version, it doesn't look or feel like a $400 device. It would ideally cost less. But its features and usability should improve once the app comes out.
It's also worth noting that the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can try it and see whether it has any positive impact. It's one of those devices with a little gray area surrounding it, but it is interesting and the company has amassed the usual assortment of testimonials from users who swear it works.
Oska Pulse pain-relief wearable device perks up CES