A new mobile application called ‘Painimation’ has the potential to assess and monitor pain better than any previously used measurement tools.
Painimation is an electronic assessment tool that uses animations to assess pain quality, type, and location. Patients are first provided with a selection of animations they can use to describe the severity of their pain. These can then be increased or decreased in speed, colour saturation, focus, and size to accurately match their pain experience. The app also lets users label their pain on a human body, allowing them to identify where and how much of their body is affected by pain.
“By using animations, we have the potential to more quickly and accurately understand a person’s pain experience, and, more importantly, provide treatments that work and stop those that don’t,” said lead author Prof. Charles Jonassaint from the University of Pittsburgh.
“We believe using animations to measure pain can allow patients to not only describe pain sensations in a similar manner to how they experience them, but minimise potential barriers to pain assessment because the effects of language and literacy are taken out of the equation,” he said.
“Further, we can decrease the burden of long, detailed pain assessments while collecting pertinent information on each patient’s pain experience through an easy-to-administer, novel, and engaging medium.”
Zero to 10 scales, words and phrases are commonly used to describe and measure pain, however these can be ineffective for many patients.
Results were published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.