PainChek® is pleased to announce it has partnered with Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation (Ramsay) and Edith Cowan University (ECU) for a research project that will investigate ways of minimising or stopping the progression of frailty in hospital patients. It is expected that better pain management is key to achieving these outcomes.

This project marks the first commercial agreement with a hospital organisation entered into by PainChek®. While the grant revenue associated with the project is not material to the business, it provides significant validation for the technology and allows the Company to forge a partnership with one of Australia’s leading hospital and health service providers.

The Federal Government-funded national trial of PainChek in Australian residential aged care commenced just as the pandemic took hold, helping aged care staff detect and manage pain in residents with conditions such as dementia, who find it difficult to communicate.

To date more than 180,000 PainChek assessments have been conducted on more than 16,000 residents living with dementia, who often cannot communicate their pain.

“It is estimated that up to 80% of aged care residents have chronic pain, while 53% of people in residential aged care have a diagnosis of dementia. As a result, pain is often undetected or mistreated in many aged care residents.”

PainChek CEO Philip Daffas said:

“Bringing PainChek® into the local and global hospital market has been a longstanding goal of the company, and this marks an important step toward that goal. We expect that a successful outcome from this research will provide for excellent opportunities with groups such as Ramsay and provides us a high-quality case study we can demonstrate with other potential customers.”

PainChek®, with Ramsay and ECU, provided the following joint release on 2 October:

PainChek® has been included in an exciting new research project, backed by the Ramsay Hospital Research Foundation, which is examining how a nurse-led volunteer program and better pain management could help improve outcomes for hospital patients who are frail.

Evidence to support the association between pain and frailty continues to grow. Pain prevalence increases with increased age, so too does frailty. As persistent pain can lead to functional disability, depression, and social isolation, it has been hypothesized that the burden of pain leaves older adults less capable to compensate, which increases the likelihood of frailty.

Led by Dr Rosemary Saunders from the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Edith Cowan University, a consortium 12 researchers from five Australian universities, is investigating different ways of minimising or stopping the progression of frailty in hospital patients, through volunteer support interventions and optimal pain management facilitated by better pain assessment through the use of a new medical device PainChek®.

Dr Saunders said as part of the study, a group of frail patients at Hollywood Private Hospital in Western Australia would be given a volunteer support care plan tailored to their individual needs:

“In this study we’re first investigating the prevalence of frailty and pain across the hospital and then trialing interventions to address the magnitude of the problem.

It could be a volunteer assisting someone with their meals or helping them to go for a walk to improve their mobility. Other studies have found patients eat more or increase their weight when required, just by having a volunteer engaged in specific activities at mealtimes.”

PainChek’s Chief Scientific Officer, Prof Jeff Hughes said: “The Nurse-Led Volunteer Support and PainChek Frailty Study provides a great opportunity to evaluate the impact of technology-enabled pain assessment on frailty progression associated with acute hospital admissions.” Acknowledging that frailty is often the result of multiple contributors, it is hoped the use of PainChek® will facilitate better pain control, hence mitigating its contribution to frailty.

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