Category Archives: Pain

AI driven, music-triggered brain state therapy for pain, sleep, stress, gait

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The Sync Project has developed a novel, music-based, non-pharmaceutical approach to treating pain, sleep, stress, and Parkinson’s gait issues.

Recent studies showed Parkinson’s patients improved their gait when listening to a song with the right beat pattern, and post surgery patients used 1/3 the amount of self-administered morphine after listening to an hour of music.

Lifestyle applications include Unwind, an app detects ones heartbeat, and responds with relaxing music (customized by machine learning tools) to aid sleep, and the Sync Music Bot, which uses Spotify to deliver daily music to enhance work, relaxation, and exercise.

With further clinical validation, this non-invasive therapy could replace drugs for better, targeted, personalized interventions.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab – featuring  Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Nathan Intrator –  Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar – Phillip Alvelda – Michael Weintraub – Nancy Brown – Steve Kraus – Bill Geary – Mary Lou Jepsen – Daniela Rus

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EEG detects infant pain

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Caroline Hartley and Oxford colleagues studied 72 infants during painful medical procedures.  Using EEG, they found a signature change in brain activity about a half-second after a painful stimulus. They seek to understand its use in monitoring and managing infant pain, as well as  the use of EEG in adult pain treatment.

EEG is more precise than current heart rate, oxygen saturation level, and facial expression pain assessment, which are affected by other stressful, non-painful events.

In one experiment, 11 out of 12 infants had a decreased pain-related EEG signal after doctors applied a topical anesthetic to their feet.  A new study uses EEG to test the efficacy of morphine in infants, whose skin and intestines absorb drugs differently than adults.

EEG is being miniaturized by companies such as Neurosteer, making it an increasingly viable option for continuous pain, attention, and consciousness monitoring and treatment optimization.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston on September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab – featuring  Joi Ito – Ed Boyden – Roz Picard – George Church – Nathan Intrator –  Tom Insel – John Rogers – Jamshid Ghajar – Phillip Alvelda – Michael Weintraub – Nancy Brown – Steve Kraus – Bill Geary

 

VR therapy could reduce acute and chronic pain

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Cedars-Sinai’s Brennan Spiegel has published a study showing that VR therapy could reduce acute and chronic pain.

100 gastrointestinal, cardiac, neurological and post-surgical pain patients with an average pain score of 5.4 were included.  Fifty patients watched a 15-minute nature video. Fifty patients watched a 15-minute animated game with VR goggles.
The patients who watched the nature video had a 13% decrease in  pain scores.  The patients who watched the virtual reality game had a 24% decrease.

Th researchers are not sure how VR actually reduces pain, but thnk that it could be due to immersive distraction.  According to Spiegel:

“When the mind is deeply engaged in an immersive experience, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to perceive stimuli outside of the field of attention. By ‘hijacking’ the auditory, visual, and proprioception senses, VR is thought to create an immersive distraction that restricts the mind from processing pain.”

Potential side effects of VR include dizziness, vomiting, nausea or epileptic seizures, therefore patients must be carefully screened and monitored.


Join ApplySci at Wearable Tech + Digital Health + NeuroTech Boston – Featuring Ed Boyden, Roz Picard, Tom Insel, John Rogers, Jamshid Ghajar and  Nathan Intrator – September 19, 2017 at the MIT Media Lab

VR + sound to control pain

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In a recent study, York St. John University researchers have demonstrated the use of virtual reality headsets to control pain.  Discomfort was further reduced when sound was incorporated into the process.

In the experiment, a small group of adults submerged one hand in ice water while playing an Oculus VR  based game, with and with out sound.  While playing and hearing accompanying sounds, subjects could tolerate the discomfort for 79 seconds. With out sound, it was reduced to 56 seconds.  With out any VR support, they could tolerate the cold water for 30 seconds (on average).

If verified with a much larger group of subjects and a broader spectrum of pain/discomfort tested, this discovery could potentially bring a non-drug pain reducing method to individuals at home.


 

Wearable Tech + Digital Health San Francisco – April 5, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

NeuroTech San Francisco – April 6, 2016 @ the Mission Bay Conference Center

Wearable Tech + Digital Health NYC – June 7, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

NeuroTech NYC – June 8, 2016 @ the New York Academy of Sciences

 

 

 

Wearable monitors physiological signs of pain

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When we experience pain in a clinical setting, we are asked to rate it on a scale of 1-10, which guides our treatment plan.  This method is obviously imprecise, but also irrelevant if a patient cannot communicate or is under anesthesia.

Medasense is developing a finger mounted wearable with a sensor that records physiological signs of pain.  The measurements are derived from the nonlinear composite of heart rate, heart rate variability, amplitude of the photoplethysmogram, skin conductance, fluctuations in skin conductance, and their time derivatives.  Algorithms convert the data into a real-time, continuous index on a bedside monitor.  The system is meant to be used both in the hospital and at home.

WEARABLE TECH + DIGITAL HEALTH SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 5, 2016 @ THE MISSION BAY CONFERENCE CENTER

NEUROTECH SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 6, 2016 @ THE MISSION BAY CONFERENCE CENTER

Remote controlled nanowire drug delivery

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Purdue researchers have created an implantable drug-delivery system using nanowires that can be controlled wirelessly.

The nanowires respond to an electromagnetic field generated by a device used to control the release of a preloaded drug. Tubes and wires required by other implantable devices are eliminated, minimizing the risk of infection and  complications.

According to lead author Richard Borgens: “This tool allows us to apply drugs as needed directly to the site of injury, which could have broad medical applications, The technology is in the early stages of testing, but it is our hope that this could one day be used to deliver drugs directly to spinal cord injuries, ulcerations, deep bone injuries or tumors, and avoid the terrible side effects of systemic treatment with steroids or chemotherapy.”

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Pain relieving wearable, app

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Cur is a wearable pain relief system, similar to Quell, (see ApplySci, 1/13/15) for people who respond to TENS.  It uses uses electrical stimulation to stop pain at its source.  The bandaid-like device sticks directly to skin, and all the modulation of electrical signals is automatically controlled by built in sensors.  Users can also adjust the amount of stimulation with a smartphone app.

The company claims that “within five seconds it measures muscle vibrations, and uses those vibrations to adjust the amplitude—the strength of the treatment.”

The wearable must  receive FDA approval for a low-risk wellness device.  If effective, non-drug pain relievers, like Pur and Quell, could help sufferers avoid the addiction and debilitating side effects associated with narcotic pain medicine.

WEARABLE TECH + DIGITAL HEALTH NYC 2015 – JUNE 30 @ NEW YORK ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.  REGISTER BEFORE FRIDAY,  MAY 15 TO RECEIVE THE PREFERRED RATE.