Unlocking the potential of pain management 

Unlocking the potential of pain management 

InterSystems IRIS for Health accelerates PainChek’s global expansion into the hospital sector and capacity to integrate with electronic medical record systems, including InterSystems TrakCare and future FHIR-based home care systems. Philip Daffas, CEO and MD, PainChek, tells us more about the partnership and how the company is aiding people in care.  

Philip Daffas, CEO and MD, PainChek

InterSystems, a provider of next-generation solutions for enterprise Digital Transformation to help customers solve the most critical data challenges, has announced a global partnership agreement with Australian-based PainChek, a developer of smartphone-based pain assessment and monitoring applications.  

Under the agreement, PainChek is using InterSystems IRIS for Health to integrate its application with electronic medical record (EMR) systems – including the InterSystems TrakCare unified healthcare information system. More than one billion health records worldwide are managed using InterSystems technology. Combining the companies’ platforms will facilitate PainChek’s hospital global market entry and help transform pain management in the hospital sector and, in the future, new markets like home care that would also benefit from accurate and reliable pain assessment.  

PainChek’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform uses smart devices with cameras to accurately evaluate patients’ pain levels. PainChek’s reliability and consistency improves care and saves time and money for healthcare providers. For example, clinicians with different bedside manners may record different verbal assessments. Many patients cannot or do not reliably describe their pain levels, are pre- or non-verbal or are not lucid at the time.  

“Partnering with a global leader like InterSystems accelerates our entry into new markets like the hospital sector,” said Philip Daffas, CEO, PainChek. “We know from experience in aged care how important it is to connect to EMR systems. InterSystems IRIS for Health makes that easy and scales up our capacity to connect into hospitals and, in the future, other sectors like home care that would also benefit from easy-to-use and reliable pain assessment.”  

Here, Daffas tells us more about this partnership and how InterSystems is enabling the company to deliver quality care across the globe… 

Can you tell us more about PainChek, its mission, and its aims? 

PainChek was founded in 2016 with the purpose to give a voice to those who cannot reliably verbalise their pain – particularly those people living with dementia or cognitive impairment and pre-verbal children. 

The PainChek adult digital pain assessment app was regulatory cleared in multiple markets during 2018 and has grown to be the most used clinical software in the Australian aged care sector, with a rapidly expanding presence across the UK, New Zealand, Canada and Singapore, and plans to enter the US and Japanese markets in the next phase. 

Today, PainChek is utilised in a diverse range of settings including aged care facilities, hospitals, the disability support sector, and the home. PainChek Infant, world-first facial recognition technology to assess pre-verbal infant procedural pain, has also received regulatory clearance in multiple markets. 

Can you tell us more about PainChek’s offerings and how its SaaS is providing reliability and consistency to healthcare providers? 

The PainChek App intelligently automates the multidimensional pain assessment process and uses AI to objectively assess facial indicators of pain, the most complex part of the pain assessment process, ensuring pain assessments are accurate and consistent. 

All pain assessment data is stored centrally via the cloud and documented in PainChek’s detailed reporting suite, PainChek Analytics, enabling seamless and secure data sharing between care management systems and healthcare providers. 

Concerning aged care, how important is it to connect to EMR systems, and what are the benefits realised from this? 

Connecting EMR systems is critical to ensuring continuity of quality care and minimising double-handling in aged care environments. PainChek is fully interoperable with leading aged care EMR systems and has a growing integration ecosystem that currently includes 30+ partners, providing end-to-end, point-of-care pain management for aged care facilities around the world. 

Within aged care alone, more than 1.9 million PainChek assessments have now been conducted and 70,000 licences are being used worldwide, reflecting positive progress on our mission to enable best-practice pain assessment for all people, everywhere. 

In a UK study, PainChek utilisation has been shown to result in a 20% reduction in the inappropriate use of psychotropic medication by enabling more reliable and consistent pain assessment. 

How has InterSystems allowed you to enter new markets? 

PainChek’s partnership with InterSystems – a global EMR provider managing more than one billion health records – provides a platform for hospital market entry around the world. PainChek’s digital pain assessment solution is to be integrated with InterSystems’ IRIS interoperability platform and TrakCare EMR. 

In a hospital setting, a wide variety of people may encounter a combination of pain and an inability to reliably self-report, which the PainChek solution is uniquely suited to support. Hospitalised patients living with dementia occupy more than one-third of hospital beds and if their pain is not managed effectively, their length of stay can be up to 18 days longer than the average patient. These patients are also at three times increased risk of delirium and typically receive 50% more antipsychotic medication than non-dementia patients 

Together, with InterSystems, we are building clinical solutions to address these issues and optimise the pain assessment and management process. These can be of help to nurses and physicians, providing early warning alerts of a deteriorating patent, semi-automated workflows to support optimal treatment pathways, and responsive alerts/notifications, maximising quality of life for patients and minimising clinical risks. 

How has InterSystems IRIS for Health enabled PainChek to connect to hospitals and scale its capacity for home care? 

Partnering with InterSystems IRIS for Health facilitates new integrations and reduces cost by converting PainChek’s custom-built message formats to the HL7 and FHIR industry standards. These scale up PainChek’s capacity to serve new markets and removes barriers to entry by leveraging existing infrastructure. HL7, for example, is widely used in the hospital sector and FHIR is already dominant in the home care setting. 

InterSystems’ investments in Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) also go beyond integration capabilities. The InterSystems FHIR Server – built on InterSystems IRIS – helps software providers like PainChek develop applications that consume and create FHIR resources, such as discrete data from an EMR, without building their own FHIR infrastructure. This further supports ease and speed to market. 

Why should decision-makers adopt a unified healthcare information system? 

With an objective and accurate single source of truth, providers can now leverage clinical pain assessment and management data in a way that has historically been extremely difficult or impossible, optimising care, mitigating risk and maximising long-term sustainability.  

PainChek is proud to be part of the new wave of digital healthcare delivery, helping healthcare professionals unlock this potential. 

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