Unique pain and dementia technology launches in the UK

AI-based facial analysis tool helps caregivers detect pain in people with communication difficulties

PainChek gives a voice to people with dementia and other communication difficulties, providing evidence of pain and enabling improved treatment

A unique facial analysis technology which enables care workers and clinicians to identify and manage pain in dementia and cognitively-impaired patients who struggle to communicate, has officially launched in the UK.

PainChek is the world’s-first intelligent pain assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence to analyse micro facial expressions indicative of pain to enable carers and healthcare professionals to identify the presence of pain; to quantify the severity; and to monitor the impact of treatment to optimise and evidence overall quality of care.

A smartphone-based medical device that is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, PainChek is operated at the point of care.

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 uses AI technology to overcome the problem of people living with dementia who often cannot say they are in pain, and has additional assessment domains that provide further evidence.

This means all indicators of pain are taken into account in identifying the level of pain, and a profile of the ‘pain burden’ can be easily seen and monitored in the cloud.

In the UK, dementia affects around 850,000 people and is the country’s biggest killer.

Currently, there are approximately 18,000 UK care homes with 540,000 residential care beds, with around 70% of residents having dementia or memory problems, 80% of whom suffer pain at any one time, and 50% experience persistent pain.

And, with a new diagnosis of dementia every three minutes in the UK, and the prevalence set to double in the next 20 years; it poses a real challenge for the social care workforce.

Pete Shergill, PainChek UK&I country director, explains: “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.

This represents a game-changer for the UK in the way it manages pain in people living with dementia

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

“Unique in the UK, PainChek 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.

“It represents a game-changer for the UK in the way it manages pain in people living with dementia and there can be no doubt as to the tangible improvement in quality of life for our ageing population.”

Companies