Pain and dementia facial analysis tech launches

A health tech company, PainChek, has launched its pain assessment app in the UK.

The tool uses facial analysis technology to support care workers and clinicians identify and manage pain in dementia and cognitively impaired patients who struggle to communicate.

Using a phone, facial indicators of pain are detected, and combined with other indicators, to help produce a pain score within 2 minutes. This score helps pain management interventions and monitoring over time.

The company said the tool uses artificial intelligence to analyse micro-facial expressions indicative of pain to help identify the presence of pain when it isn’t obvious. It is also said to help quantify the severity and monitor the impact of treatment to optimise and evidence overall quality of care.

Pete Shergill, PainChek UK&I Country Director, said: “Sadly, so many of our most vulnerable in society experience chronic or acute pain, but this often goes undetected and under-treated in people with communication difficulties from medical conditions such as dementia.”

“It is a daily challenge for carers and healthcare professionals to assess pain in non-communicative individuals. Often pain goes undetected or untreated, which can lead to unnecessary prescribing, behavioural and psychological issues and decreased quality of life.”

“The tool is a quick, easy-to-use solution to measuring pain in care home residents, documenting checks, and allowing informed clinical decisions to be made for effective pain management.”

Professor Hughes, Chief Scientific Officer, PainChek, said: “Pain amongst people living with dementia is very common, with at least 50% regularly experiencing pain and accurate pain assessment is the cornerstone to optimal pain management.”