EEG readers are being used alongside modified Samsung tablets to successfully assess and manage pain in a study of 1000 ER patients in Southern Hills Hospital, Nevada.
Patients use the tablets to agree or disagree with the level of pain sensed by the EEG headband, before their pain level is then conveyed to medical professionals. The report said that this is step forward from the hospital’s usual 10-point pain scale which is accompanied by smiling or frowning faces.
Dorita Sondereker, director of emergency services at Southern Hills, hopes that in the future the technology could be used to “see when the patient's pain is increasing” and “intercept to get pain meds to them sooner.”
The tablets also offer a range of music and video content which can help the patient with their pain. Martha Lawrence, CEO of AccendoWave, a collaborating partner, said: "The technology tries to sense the patient's level of discomfort and identify content that relaxes each individual, then it changes up the content to serve up more of what the patient is really focusing on. The patient can also do a 'thumbs up' and 'thumbs down' to indicate likes or dislikes, so it factors that in as well."
The study found that 90% of participants said that they enjoyed using the technology, whilst 81% said it made them feel more comfortable. Citing a previous study, Samsung said that the content on the tablets does not merely distract patients from their pain, but actually triggers the release of pain-reducing opioids.