PainChek upgrade sets ‘gold standard’ for pain assessment in care homes

World’s-first AI-powered assessment tool upgraded to support social care settings

PainChek is being hailed as a 'game changer' for the social care sector in the UK

Social care professionals working in residential care and nursing homes can now utilise the power of the world’s-first AI-powered pain assessment tool to monitor whether residents are able to self report their pain.

PainChek uses artificial intelligence to analyse micro-facial expressions indicative of pain, and has upgraded its app so care professionals can assess and document pain scores in every care home resident.

The upgrade of the unique facial analysis technology, first developed to enable care workers to identify and manage pain in people living with dementia or cognitive impairments; can now be used with care and residential home residents who can self report their pain.

The new version, PainChek Universal, features the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) – an established standard used to document self-reported pain levels – within the one digital environment, and is available as a free upgrade for existing PainChek users and features as standard for all future subscribers.

The way PainChek Universal assesses and manages pain in all care home residents represents a game changer for the social care sector in the UK

PainChek senior research scientist, associate professor Kreshnik Hoti, said that by combining the existing technology of the PainChek app with NRS; the PainChek Universal upgrade enables best-practice pain management for all residents, patients and people living with pain in any environment, regardless of their ability to self report pain.

“The Universal Pain Assessment Solution combines the unique PainChek App with the NRS pain scale and PainChek Analytics in one system, to deliver an inclusive, best-practice pain assessment and management solution to UK care homes in a way that will drive objectivity, accuracy and consistency, as well as engage residents in their own care,” he adds.

“This combination improves clinical processes through a fully-digital product, training, and documentation system.”

He added: “Many residents in care homes are able to reliably self report their pain, and the NRS is an established standard used to document self-reported pain levels.

“But there are also times when care home residents’ ability to reliably communicate their pain fluctuates, with causes ranging from acute delirium to the side effects of psychotropic medications.

“Historically, PainChek and the NRS have been separate pain assessment processes in terms of function and documentation.

“But, by bringing the NRS into the PainChek app, we have combined the benefits of the two pain scales into one universal pain assessment solution, simplifying and streamlining pain assessment procedures and documentation for both care home staff and residents.”

For care and social care professionals using PainChek Universal, the key benefits include a complete point-of-care pain assessment solution; automated documentation to deliver time savings for staff with no duplication of effort, double handling or paperwork; fully-digitised delivery, training and storage, with CMS integration across leading providers globally; and PainChek Analytics to monitor and improve assessment practices and pain outcomes by resident, facility and across the group.

Pete Shergill, PainChek UK&I country director, said: “Pain causes significant distress and discomfort for everyone and the way PainChek Universal assesses and manages pain in all care home residents represents a game changer for the social care sector in the UK, and there can be no doubt as to the tangible improvement in quality of life for our ageing population.

“PainChek Universal allows pain scores to be documented in real time and sent straight to a care home’s care management system (CMS) within seconds of completion at the point of care.

The automated documentation and fully-digitised delivery, training, and data storage means PainChek Universal can make significant savings on staff time and workload, reducing any duplication of effort and eliminating the need for paperwork

“In addition, the data is presented through tailored dashboards on PainChek Analytics to inform and empower clinicians as they make crucial clinical decisions on pain management.

“With this latest upgrade - which is a switch-on process at no extra cost to existing customers - PainChek has become the new gold standard for pain assessment, regardless of a resident’s condition.

“PainChek Universal generates significant data on pain assessment outcomes and activity at individual, care home facility, and group levels, providing insight into all areas of pain management practice, ranging from data as simple as assessment frequency day-to-day, right through to evidence-based personalised pain ‘red flags’ for use in care planning.

“The automated documentation and fully-digitised delivery, training, and data storage means PainChek Universal can make significant savings on staff time and workload, reducing any duplication of effort and eliminating the need for paperwork.”

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