Flux Health Forum

ICES Improvement suggestions

  1. coiled or retractable Coil cords would help to minimize cord clutter.

  2. A belt loop molded to M1 case for strap to secure case around legs, arms, or body.

Believe it or not, we have tried and field tested these (and many other) “improvements”.

Coiled or retractable cords end up resulting in (1) more clunky, larger, heavier, more cumbersome devices, (2) more mechanical complexity, (3) much higher rates of mechanical failure. Also, coiled cords (like an old fashioned land-line phone cord) do not lay under bandages or clothing flat or discretely. And any form of retraction will tend to pull the plug out of the connector socket, which reduces the reliability of the device. Final conclusion: the best solution is to offer coil cords of various lengths that allow the use of a cord of approximately the correct length for each application. This is precisely what we do: we offer three different cord lengths.

Belt loop (or clip) – We spent a lot of time (and money, about enough to buy a modest house) trying to develop such a thing because Bill Pawluk more or less demanded it when he was marketing our products. The thinking was that people would be much more likely to purchase and use a personal PEMF device if they could conveniently clip it somewhere. The result was that it makes some people more happy, some less happy, and most never use it anyway. It adds size and bulk to the unit, which no one likes. And no matter how you design it, some people do not intend to use it that way and they complain about it.
SOLUTION: Build the devices to be as compact and simple as possible, which then allows each person to affix or modify it to hold it wherever they want to, however they want to. You can easily wrap it in bandages, sew it into folds of clothing, put it into small camera cases which have belt loops etc., some people glue on rings or even velcro, but every individual can do whatever suits them. This has been our design strategy for the past several years.

It is funny but true: what people think they want and what they actually use are different things. You can see this in the evolution of the cell phone. Initially there had been an attempt to add a clip or other convenience like that, but that turned out to just be a convenient way to get your phone bumped off your hip and smashed on the ground. Eventually, this evolved to the design of the modern smart phone, which by itself has a very simple, sleek design and no clips or anything like that. If that is what you want, in general you have to buy a third-party holder of some sort that is suited to your own particular needs.

Since I design and build all ICES-PEMF devices by myself, and the sales are many orders of magnitude smaller than a smart phone, there is no way for me to introduce a product line of belts, fasteners, garments, etc. SOLUTION: Basically, I provide the core technology and each user has to figure out a way to hold it where they individually need it to be.

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is there anything in the works for new product or updates or synergetic combos?

We are always working on product improvements. But it is not at all similar to typical consumer products where “improvements” are usually just superficial tweaks targeted to increase sales. We are constantly developing and testing new Ideas and design concepts that add real value, and working to build new science into ICES products. This is a progressive process, so it would not make sense, for example, to wait for the “next great thing”. If you need ICES-PEMF now, you should start using it now, and not wait for some magical breakthrough, because that is not on the horizon. Continuous improvement is the strategy, not typical marketing strategies such as “This year’s model makes last year’s model obsolete!!”

From time-to-time, based on field testing, user feedback, and as allowed by the current science and available technology, we will introduce a new product. But we don’t set dates for “the big product reveal”. So it does not make sense to think of ICES-PEMF technology the same way you might think about smart phone technology for example.

ICES-PEMF is designed to be flexible enough that existing users can leverage new science by adapting what they already have to new information. So, it is not like a typical product, where the day after you make a purchase it becomes obsolete.

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@Bob, I have the following improvement suggestions for the current C5 model:
a) function to shut off the display and LEDs while running.
Reason: When running an ICES application through the night, the LED screen and lights emit bright light in a dark room. Even when I turn them around (face down), light is visible. I now wrap the device in textile, but a function to switch the display off would be nice to have.

b) Pause
For long runs (e.g. through the night) it would be good to have an option to pause for 30 or 60 minutes in between cycles in order to avoid cell habituation effects to the stimulation.

c) the USB power cable of the C5 now features a jack plug instead of a micro-USB plug. The jack plug does not fully insert into the socket and is prone to twisting. This could turn out to be a weak point in the current C5 model. I don’t hope it breaks too soon…

Good suggestions, thanks. Most of these have been something I have been working on for years. Here’s where they are:

Shut off the display: newer versions of the M1 and C5 have this option; just press the white button while running to turn the display OFF. Red button turns it back ON. There are not any remaining internal timing sources to do this as a timed automatic function. Adding this as a function would mean removing some other function.


Pause: There is already a “pause” function as one of the options for the standard protocols, near the bottom of the list. The pause is only 5 minutes because we field tested this, and longer pauses irritate most people: “It starts hurting again” is the typical comment for pauses that are too long.

See:

The protocols with rest periods between cycles are labeled “… REST 5”

If you make the rest periods (or other parameters) too complex and adjustable, then you end up with a system that is simply too complex to use for most users of this device. Keep in mind, the average age of a typical ICES-PEMF user is over 60, they are not digitally native, and extra features will make the device much less usable for most people over 60.
But if adjustable pause lengths are an important feature for you, you can always use a B5 instead of a C5.

Also, these devices are programmed to maximum memory capacity, and that’s after about 14 months of cramming and code optimization. So, if you want to add functions, then you also need to decide which other functions to remove because there is no more program memory to work with.


C5 USB power cable: One thing that is universally true: you can never make everyone happy with power systems on portable devices. There are always trade-offs in the design. This is one such example. The original C5 and B5 design used a USB Micro-B power conector. It was the highest quality, most expensive, solid steel case micro-USB connector available anywhere… and they broke constantly because of the way people use these devices. I eventually had to remove these and replace them with a much stronger barrel power connector. These rarely fail, but unfortunately the best PCB-mount barrel connector, the strongest one available, is shorter than the mating plug, so it does not insert fully. This is not a problem, the exposed metal is at 0.0 Volts (ground potential), and we have had almost zero failures of these connectors. But we had hundreds of failures of the best quality available micro-USB connectors. I continue to try to make this better, but believe me, the limits on available, quality components are severe and there is no single option that will make everyone happy.

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Thank you Bob for your reply!

I totally understand, that the devices are already fully maxed out. Maybe the new ones that are on the drawing board now with fluxhealth can make use of more resources.

For me personally, I’d be happy to leave out the fixed constant frequencies.

I got my C5 in August 2020, so just a month ago. Pressing the white button does not shut off the screen, but shows revision infos. In my case the rev# is C5-20170514. Does that mean I got a device with an older firmware installed?

So, that’s the challenge: features that are not of much use to one person are critical to other people. For example: leave out the fixed frequencies. That might be OK with you, but then I would get dozens of complaints from people who have specifically requested these features for one reason or another.

I think I have achieved the point where any change that makes any one person happy will make 5 or more other people unhappy.

The main reason to keep the single-frequency protocols is that they line up with about 90% of the scientific literature, where (typically) a single frequency is used as a statistical expedient. The introduction of more than one frequency makes analysis and interpretation of scientific results almost impossible, or requires many more subjects, test conditions, and a lot more time and money. So, some people insist on using “the exact protocol that was proven in a scientific paper”, and while I disagree with the fundamental accuracy of this, I do see their point as a non-scientist might see it, so I added those monotonic frequency protocols. The people that use them insist on them, but they are nearly useless for everyone else.

White button = screen OFF: It is a feature that is being phased in by FluxHealth. We make the C5s as we sell them, and do not tend to keep a lot in stock. That was the only recent change to firmware, so other than that, there are no differences.

OK, I just talked to Contact Customer Service at FluxHealth. They offer this feature by special request, but it has not become standard yet. If this is something you want, you can contact Customer Service to see what could be done.

Thank you Bob, all good.
Even when the display is off, the LEDs would be flashing, I guess?

It’s all minor things and all in all I’m very happy with the C5 unit.
Keep up the good work!

yes, the LEDs continue to flash (just the green one unless there is a system error). This is necessary so that you can keep track of the system status.

The easiest solution, and the one I use with my own C5 and B5, is that I just flip them over (face down, which means display side down) when using them at night. When I want to check the status, I just tip it up, look at it, then set it back face down.

Here are a few ideas I’ve been kicking around, regarding ICES gen 7 - and general improvements to the product line, in general.

Personally, I would find it beneficial to have an ICES device that powers 2 sets of coils, rather than only 1 or 4. For me, this would hit the sweat spot in terms of utility vs. cost.

Would it be possible to sell 3D printed clips that hold the coils in a stacked configuration? This would make it much easier to stack/ un-stack coils on the fly, make it easier to position them exactly in line with one another, and might even mean you could discontinue the deep field coils that you currently wrap by hand.

While there is a ton of good info out there in your videos, the various articles and publications scattered across micro-pulse.com, and the many nuggets of gold buried throughout this forum… it is a ton of material to sift through. And judging by the simple questions that continue to pop up on this forum from new users, a lot of people are currently struggling to locate the info they need. I’m sure it would be a fair bit of work initially, but some sort of master database or comprehensive knowledge-base would probably save you work (and sanity) in the long run - in terms of answering questions that have already been answered many times before.

Lastly, I think you’ve already addressed this one before, but I’ll just say that I would definitely purchase a protective case for my device - if one were available. (Just saying!)

Thanks Hope. These are all very good suggestions. I am actually working on all of them except the 3-D printed clip and the protective case.

There may be an even better solution than a 3-D printed clip, so I’ll think about that for sure.

By protective case, do you mean for storage/transport or do you mean during use?

thanks

I bought the pemf wrap products for the m1 awhile back. I love them. They hold the m1. I got the link for it off the micro pulse website. If anyone is interested contact them.

Hope,
You asked:
“Would it be possible to sell 3D printed clips that hold the coils in a stacked configuration? This would make it much easier to stack/ un-stack coils on the fly, make it easier to position them exactly in line with one another”

I’ve found a solution that works very well for me. I have four areas that I treat with one of the four in use pretty much at all times, 24 hours a day. These areas each present their own challenges, so I’ll outline what I’ve done. I have a dedicated set of coils for each one. For my neck I have a set of stacked coils taped to a knee brace with surgical tape. The wires coming from the coils are also taped to the brace a short distance so there is not a stress/flex point right next to the coils. I also have another set of coils taped on a piece of plastic to extend them above the brace to hit C2/C3. These coils I have taped side by side and in all cases I have the wires taped down a short distance as just described. For the patella area of my knee it would be difficult to get the coils to stay in the right place without taping them, but by using a knee brace the problem is solved. The knee brace always sits in the same place on my knee, so it is just a matter of surgical taping the coils to the place I want them. This happens to be in an area of the brace that is open, so I just tape the coil across the opening. For this one I add a short piece of Ace Bandage to keep the coils tight against the knee cap. In all cases, I put the A1 into a sock with a slit cut in it. The top end of the sock is tied to the brace so it is easy to just slip the A1 into the slit. The sock holds it securely and eliminates most strain on the wires. For my lower back I have a belt with the coils taped to it. It turns out my stomach gets smaller when I’m sleeping and a normal belt gets loose. I’ve found they have elastic lady’s belts at thrift stores. Apparently ladies like to get belts that they don’t like and these belts are common and generally new. For my ears I’ve taped coils inside a cap and taped a pocket in the top of the cap for the A1. The cap has ear flaps that attach together. Some of these are for ‘home use’ only, others can be worn to town.
/Jon

Thanks for the suggestions, Jon! I definitely am struggling to hold the coils securely over certain areas of the body and appreciate the insight into your approach.

Hey Bob!

Glad to hear you’re working on some of these ideas already!

For a protective case, I meant one for during use. I’ve tried a few different ways of protectively encasing my M1 - but haven’t come up with a solution I’m happy with yet. I’m just so worried about dropping this pricy little device!

Since it sounds like you are already working on a device that powers 2 sets of coils, I forgot to mention that my dream would be for it to be battery operated. I know that’ll add extra bulk - but honestly, that feature alone would seal the deal in my books. :slight_smile:

One other thing I’ve been thinking about is your choice of batteries - especially for the M1. I understand you chose that battery because of the incredibly small form factor it imparts. But acquiring those batteries is a bit tricky, and I’m guess will only become increasingly so - as technology adapts and the camcorders they are designed to fit are slowly replaced by something new. Personally, even though AA / AAA batteries take up more space, the fact that they are so easily acquired/ don’t have to be shipped from abroad, and seem likely to remain the “standard” consumer battery for years to come, dramatically increases the ease of use for me. No idea if other users would feel similarly - maybe it’s easier to acquire those camcorder batteries if you’re located in the States. Just a thought!

I am thinking I will use the new 9V lithium-ion batteries that are USB rechargeable (no charger needed). I have been testing them for a few months, and all of them seem to work very well. One thing they would definitely do is allow two sets of coils to be used.

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is it possible to move the charge port to the same side as the switch? i wanted to put this in my pocket with the external battery, but the cables prevent me from putting it neatly in a pocket

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It is possible… and would re-introduce all of the tooling costs associated with a new product, essentially doubling the cost of the product with no improvement in its actual performance in terms of its intended function (reduction of pain and inflammation).

Also, keep in mind, any changes like that that are convenient for one person will be seen as a negative by another person. For example, slight modifications (very very slight) to the M1 case mold design to hold the batteries more securely resulted in a landslide of people who complained (and frankly, some were threatening) about the change, demanding their money back, etc., because the change that held the battery more securely also made it slightly more difficult to remove the battery.

At some point, a design gets to the point where there is no net improvement: for every person that is more happy, one is less happy. Then it gets like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic: lots of effort, but no improvement and no progress.

In this case, there is a simple alternative that would probably address your concern without triggering a wave of anger and threats from everyone who is inconvenienced by the change in the price (about double) and the physical configuration (cabling layout).

Consider just using a 90 degree angle USB mini adapter such as this:

This is what I use.

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haha ok good point the 90degree it is! simple workaround :+1:t4: thanks