23 May Company news round-up: recent growth, new applications in home care, and ongoing support for Residential Aged Care during COVID-19
PainChek has started the year off on a strong note, despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19. During the pandemic, we have continued to support aged care facilities in delivering best-in-class pain assessment and management, whilst complying with infection control procedures. We’ve also made progress in ongoing expansion plans through our FDA de novo application, and exploring new opportunities in the home care market.
PainChek® achieves 50% growth in aged care beds, clients and facilities January-March 2020
During January, February and March, we achieved:
- +79% increase in contracted clients, from 98 to 175
- +55% increase in Residential Aged Care facilities, from 380 to 588
- +56% growth in total contracted beds, from 32,023 to 49,811
According to CEO Philip Daffas: “The company progress and achievements to date are a reflection of the transformational impact PainChek® has on pain management and better medication treatment for people living with dementia and other communication difficulties.”
Federal Government Grant initiative extended
until 31 May 2021
Given the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the residential aged care sector, the Federal Government and Department of Health have extended the timeline for our Government-funded, national PainChek roll-out.
Under the initiative, the Federal Government has committed a $5M funding package for Australian Residential Aged Care Providers to implement PainChek in their facility. Eligible providers now have until 31 May 2021 to secure a free 12-month subscription to our digital pain assessment tool.
To learn more and register, submit an expression of interest here.
Helping to protect the vulnerable in aged care during COVID-19
Aged care has been one of the most impacted sectors in the wake of COVID-19. Older people are at the highest risk of contracting the disease — and those suffering from chronic pain can be at greater risk as chronic pain has been associated with an impaired immune system1.
During this time, we have helped residential aged care facilities continue to deliver reliable pain assessments to the most vulnerable, while complying with infection control procedures. Many of our partners have found PainChek to be invaluable during the pandemic, due to the tool’s ability to assess pain from a distance.
According to Jim Murray, Facility Manager at Allambie Heights Village: “PainChek has transformed the way we monitor and treat pain with those residents living with dementia. Under the restrictions required for COVID-19, PainChek has been even more beneficial. As a non-contact digital healthcare solution supportive of our social distancing requirements, we have continued to use PainChek to safely assess our residents living with dementia and cognitive impairment”.
In addition to supporting existing residential aged care facilities with chronic pain management, we have helped new clients roll out the platform to their residents during this difficult time. In response to COVID-19, the IRT Group scaled up their implementation of PainChek and trained teams in its aged care sites across the country via online workshops and our e-Learning platform.
“With the advent of COVID-19, IRT Group rapidly changed its rollout approach to PainChek, adopting remote training and running in excess of 72 video conferencing sessions across its 21 residential aged care centres,” said Alex Reid, Strategic Projects Manager, Aged Care Centres at IRT. “The PainChek app has allowed IRT to provide employees with an innovative pain assessment and management tool that enables them to practice safe distancing whilst assessing and managing resident pain”.
PainChek® secures Australian patent and progresses with FDA de novo application
In addition to supporting aged care providers during COVID-19, we have received a notice of allowance from the Australian Patent Office for our pain assessment invention. This allows us to protect our technology in Australia, whilst bringing PainChek to more people worldwide as part of our global expansion plan.
We’re also working hard to ensure we are well-placed to continue our path to securing FDA de novo clearance once COVID-19 constraints ease in the US. In April, we submitted a supplement to our pre-submission application for FDA de novo clearance in the US market, which seeks approval from the FDA that our planned clinical trials will support a successful application.
Exploring new applications of PainChek® in home care with a ‘Shared Care’ app
Beyond the aged care market, we are now exploring the Australian home care market to provide effective pain assessment tools for those people who cannot reliably self-report their pain severity levels.
The majority of people living with dementia still live at home. There are now more than 800 approved home care providers in Australia providing more than 120,000 home care packages. Given the recent pandemic, this trend is only set to continue — providing an opportunity for us to support home carers with the PainChek technology including the “Shared Care” App.
Using our Shared Care app, case managers, healthcare professionals and family members can work together in a holistic approach to deliver improved pain assessment and management within the home environment. The app allows people caring for a client in their home to conduct pain assessments during home care visits, to share the results in real time, and, where appropriate, allow other family members to continue the pain assessments in between carer visits.
We are currently finalising a number of pilot trials in Australia, including a pilot in Victoria with a large international broker of home care services, and trials with two of our existing aged care clients — both of whom are amongst the top 20 largest Home Care providers in the country.
1. Abaci, P. (2020). “How Chronic Pain Affects Your Immune System”, WebMD [online]. Available at: https://blogs.webmd.com/pain-management/20200316/how-chronic-pain-affects-your-immune-system [Accessed 21 May 2020].
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