PainChek plays key role in quality aged care

Launches new app with artificial intelligence that senses pain levels in real time.



Palin Communications is overseeing the PR for the roll out of a new app that runs via a smart phone and uses artificial intelligence to assess pain levels in real time. Research shows it is driving better quality aged care in residential settings around Australia.

Better detection and management of pain has long been associated with high quality aged care. Now the roll out of PainChek® (ASX:PCK) is allowing staff at residential aged care facilities to detect, measure and monitor pain through the facial analysis of a short 3 second video captured via their smart phone. The app automatically recognises facial muscle movements that indicate pain. When this result is combined with other non-facial cues captured through the app, a total pain score and pain intensity are provided.

Professor Jeff Hughes, Chief Scientific Officer at PainChek says many people with dementia do not have their pain managed optimally and that it is a focus on improving the quality of resident care that is driving the adoption of the device.

“Pain often goes unrecognised and under-treated in people with advanced dementia who can no longer communicate that they are in pain. Currently available pain assessment tools can be subject to user bias and generally paper-based, as a result they are under-utilised. PainChek® has been shown to accurately assess pain, which facilitates better pain management, leading to reduced pain related behavioural issues in those living with dementia. With its wider adoption we are hearing from carers PainChek® is easy to use” said Prof Hughes.

By early September 2018 PainChek® had secured 20 residential aged care clients across Australia who are using the device under license. This represents more than 1,500 Australian aged care beds and more than 6,500 assessments completed under license.

According to Ciarán Foley, Chief Executive Officer at Allambie Heights Village Ltd, the device is having a positive impact on the quality of care.

“Following a trial period at our residential aged care facility, we embraced PainChek® and since August 2018 have been using the software with 10 of our residents who have difficulties with communication. Our registered nurses, upon detecting pain using PainChek® are able to respond and intervene with therapeutic warm blankets, to monitor impact and then when needed, to give pain relief medication as needed (e.g. paracetamol). All of our physiotherapists are using PainChek® pre and post massage sessions for pain management and are maintaining records so that we can report and track outcomes. Our registered nurses are communicating the treatment and outcomes with residents’ GPs.

"Overall, our registered PainChek® plays a key role in quality aged care. nurses and care staff have observed already over a short period of time, a lower incidence of residents taking medication and some improvement in respective resident reaction/behavior due to our effective pain management responses”.

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