Pain Management Mobile Application

As many as 50% of primary care office visits are for pain complaints. Pain assessment is extremely subjective and difficult to communicate. Patients need a tool to track their experiences with pain and assist them in using pain medications effectively.

This project will involve:

  1. Creating a tool to help patients track their use of pain medications. (The anti-inflammatory effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen typically require regular dosing rather than intermittent dosing for pain relief. Very few patients are aware of this and even fewer achieve regular dosing.) The CollaboRhythm platform already includes tools to help patients track their medication adherence. This task will only require some customization of these tools.
  2. Integrating a prototype electronic pill box that automatically tracks when a patient takes pills from the bins. This pill box uses as Arduino with a Bluetooth module. Code has already been written for Android phones/tablets to receive the data. This data needs to be integrated into the tool for helping patient’s track their use of pain medications.
  3. Creating a pain tracking diary that allows patients to actively keep track of their pain levels so that they can be correlated with pain medication usage. This task has a great deal of room for innovation. CollaboRhythm has structure to help prompt patients to remember to track their pain, but the specific user experience will need to be defined.
  4. Integrating a Bluetooth enabled skin conductance sensor. Skin conductance is affected by activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is modulated by pain, stress, and other inputs. Correlating skin conductance data with pain medication usage and pain diary entries may provide meaningful information. Code has already been written for Android phones to receive skin conductance data. This data needs to be integrated into the application.

Because this project will rely on Android phones/tablets and the CollaboRhythm platform, skills in Android/Java and Adobe Flex/Flash development will be desirable.

Representatives from GlaxoSmithKline will be contributing to this project.