With the Pain Care app, a patient can indicate pain levels by touching frowning or smiling faces.

 

The award-winning Pain Care app (iPhone/Android) translates the pain scale into an electronic journal where a patient can indicate pain levels by touching frowning or smiling faces, as well as location, duration, characteristics, mood and triggers. That data can then be shared instantly with a doctor who can adjust medications and treatments accordingly.

 

Pain Care is a collaborative effort between Ringful Health, Dr Vishal Kancherla of the North Austin Medical Centre, and the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. Having a practising pain management physician and patient safety experts on the team ensured the application was developed with benefits for patients and doctors alike.

 

The data entered via Pain Care can be shared between patients, care givers and physicians and can be accessed from multiple mobile devices and web browsers. Pain Care is actively used by a number of doctors and their patients.

 

Pain management is one of the world’s most important health problems, costing many billions each year in health care, compensation and litigation. Pain management is also plagued by substance abuse, overdosing, and medical errors. Yet, a recent study shows that many patients receive insufficient pain management. There is clearly something wrong here, but what is it? Can technology help?

 

Well, as it turns out, pain management is one of the therapeutic areas that really need personalised medicine. According to a study, today’s prescription pain medications are only 80 per cent effective. People have different lifestyles, environments, and even genetic makeups. The one-size-fit-all solution does not work well for pain treatments.

 

A key aspect of a better and more cost effective pain management solution is to provide better information for doctors and patients to help personalise the treatment options for the most efficacy. That is exactly what the Pain Care application does.

 

At its core, the Pain Care application is an electronic pain journal for patients. Pain journals are well established tools to help patients manage chronic pain. Many studies have shown that electronic journals far outperform paper journals in both response rate and accuracy. In the pain care application, the patient report pain episodes, triggers, and medications. It then correlates all those data to give the patient insight into exactly what causes the pain and what medication/therapy is effective.

 

The patient can share data with physicians. The application provides an automatic natural language summary of the patient history together with analytics charts. These are all designed to fit into pain specialists’ existing decision making workflow, and make it easier for the doctors to come up with personalised treatment options.