Pain, an unpleasant sensation that ranges in intensity from mild to severe, affects everyone at some point or another. Pain can be either acute or chronic and its causes are numerous. Treatment of many health conditions is geared towards management of symptoms and alleviating the intensity of pain. Back in time, doctors didn’t have plenty of options to track the outcomes of the treatment and understand whether the severity of pain reduced. Things are looking up today as technology allows physicians to provide better care to their patients. This post focuses on devices and other tools doctors use to track outcomes.
Medasense PMD200 pain monitoring device
Medasense is an Israel-based company that develops innovative medical applications and devices whose purpose is to assess the physiological response to pain in an objective manner. Bearing in mind the multifaceted nature of pain, Medasense solution focuses on the body’s physiological integrated response to pain, rather than individual pain pathways.
Their PMD200 is a pain monitoring device that helps physicians objectively assess patient’s pain in critical care situations such as those when patients are unable to communicate. The device ensures healthcare providers that patient’s pain is adequately treated.
The system helps physicians optimize and personalize pain treatment and avoid the excessive or insufficient use of medications that would otherwise cause additional problems. The PMD200 device involves a non-invasive finger probe and sensors that acquire physiological signals. Then, AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms start processing and analyzing multiple pain-related parameters and convert the information into a real-time index-NOL (Nociception level) presented on the bedside monitor of PMD200.
The index displays pain on a 0-100 scale. Here, 0 indicates there is no pain at all while 100 refers to extreme and unbearable pain. The system is accurate and helps doctors treat their patients with a greater success, especially when a patient is not able to let the doctor know they’re in pain or whether it’s mild or severe.
PainQx EEG pain measurement
PainQx is a diagnostic software company that has developed a platform to improve pain measurement. The platform measures pain by evaluating the neural activity in a patient’s brain. Then, it utilizes algorithms to process and decode data into usable information.
Core technologies behind the efficacy of this device include:
• Brain Research Laboratory Normative Database (BRLND) – a database that consists of electrophysiological data of more than 20,000 patients constructed over the past 30 years. BRLND is the largest database of its kind in the world
• Electroencephalogram localization (EEGLx) – electroencephalogram is a test or record of brain activity produced by electroencephalography. The technology allows PainQx to utilize EEG waves in order to localize brain activity with a resolution of one centimeter or less. The device uses this information for 3D representation of the brain. The representation is correlated with the Pain Matrix
• Pain Matrix Correlation (PMCx) – allows the device to filter out brain areas that aren’t correlated with perception and sensation of pain. Then, PMCx isolates “areas of interest” to provide an in-depth and objective pain measurement
The idea behind this device comes out of the realization that when patients are representing pain, doctors usually don’t receive accurate information. However, inaccurate pain measurement doesn’t allow physicians to treat patients properly and help them alleviate pain. The goal of PainQx is to change the standard of care in pain assessment. As a result, physicians have a detailed and objective insight into patient’s pain and its intensity and are able to recommend adequate treatment.
Med-Storm’s Pain Monitor
Logic is simple; it will be easier to find the optimal way to treat a patient if there’s a way to quantify the pain level in a more precise manner. The Pain Monitor device made by Med-Storm was specifically created to make it happen.
What makes the Pain Monitor so unique is the fact it works like a modified lie detector and it uses Skin Conductance Algesimeter (SCA) technology. It works by measuring skin conductance and emotional sweating. Why? Emotional sweating is triggered by different nerve pathways that aren’t affected by compounding factors such as blood pressure, heart rate, and blood circulation.
Pain Monitor focuses on pain and discomfort only, thus providing accurate results that doctors can use to adjust treatment of their patients. The software program continuously measures changes in emotional sweating and follows a patient’s physiological feedback.
Pain Acquiring Instrument Neat-O
Pain Acquiring Instrument Neat-O, or PAIN for short, is an FDA-approved device that was created by emergency room nurses. In most cases, when a patient reports pain, the healthcare provider asks them about a score on 1-10 scale. Patients usually say 10 even though the pain they feel is not that severe. In order to make the entire process easier for hospital staff and doctors, nurses invented PAIN to accurately demonstrate the pain level.
The PAIN is a hand-held device that is placed on the patient’s skin near the affected area. Then, a patient is asked to subjectively rate pain and press the button so the device can evaluate it objectively. For example, a patient may indicate pain level is 10, but device shows it’s actually 3.
The device works by sensing electrical pain fibers. The more frequently they fire, the higher the pain score. Also, the PAIN inputs audio waves from the patient.
• PainChek – pain assessment app that detects pain through facial recognition technology and it is particularly useful for patients with dementia
• My Pain Diary – tracks patient data and uses color coding to make data easier to read. Patients can send data to their doctor who gets a more detailed insight into their condition, especially if they have a chronic disease
• Chronic Pain Tracker – allows users to keep a pain diary in 19 different categories. The app can also create .pdf file that patients can share with doctors easily
The evolution of technology makes it easier for doctors to assess pain more effectively. These devices prevent common problems such as overuse or insufficient use of pain medications and ensure patients get the right dosage. We can expect more devices and apps that improve the way patients and their pain are treated.