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Philips wearable cleared to treat psoriasis in USA

Steve Rogerson
August 3, 2017

Philips has received 510(k) clearance from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to market the BlueControl wearable light therapy device to treat mild psoriasis. In the USA, BlueControl is a class II prescription medical device designed for home use.
Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the USA, affecting as many as 7.5 million people in the country and a total of around 125 million people worldwide. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the UV-free blue LED light emitted by the BlueControl wearable device induces natural, drug-free processes in the skin to reduce significantly symptoms – such as redness, scaling and thickness of psoriasis plaques – of mild psoriasis vulgaris, the most common form of psoriasis.
Designed with patients in mind, BlueControl’s wearability provides complete freedom of movement. A patient can wear the rechargeable, battery-powered device comfortably on affected areas such as the arms, legs, elbows and knees using the adjustable straps.
Philips obtained CE-marking for its BlueControl device in 2015, and has been successfully marketing it in selected countries in Europe, including Germany and the UK. Following the FDA clearance, Philips will start to engage with dermatologists and patient support groups in the USA and prepare for the commercial launch of BlueControl in the US market in early 2018.
“As a company, we aim to improve people’s health with a broad portfolio of proven therapy solutions to enable patients with chronic conditions to manage their health at home,” said David Aubert, general manager of Philips’ light and health business. “Philips BlueControl is a clinically proven light therapy device that can be easily integrated into a patient’s daily routine. We are pleased that we can now start marketing this innovative home treatment for psoriasis to dermatologists in the USA, so that they will be able to prescribe Philips BlueControl to their patients.”
Four fifths of psoriasis patients worldwide suffer from the most common form – psoriasis vulgaris, also known as plaque psoriasis. It is caused by the overly rapid proliferation of skin cells and can be accompanied by painful inflammation. BlueControl light therapy is enabled by high-intensity blue LEDs with tailored light settings. It helps the patient’s skin to renew itself properly by slowing down the accelerated production of skin cells associated with plaque psoriasis. With its anti-inflammatory properties, blue light controls unregulated inflammation and can alleviate the symptoms of affected skin.
Philips conducted two consecutive clinical studies in partnership with the University Hospital of Aachen in Germany to investigate the efficacy and safety of BlueControl to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis vulgaris. In the second of these studies, patients were treated for three months. Eighty-four per cent of patients showed an improvement in plaque symptoms (thickness, redness and scaling) compared with the beginning of the study. In some cases, complete disappearance of the plaque was observed. Eighty-three per cent of patients rated the usability and comfort of the device as ideal or excellent .