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The new Israeli innovation provides personalized pain management by monitoring levels of suffering, especially for those with dementia who are unable to communicate effectively.

By United with Israel Staff

An Israeli company called Medasense is spearheading a new approach to pain management in addition to battling the opioid addiction epidemic. The company’s flagship product, called the PMD-200, objectively quantifies physiological pain response, enabling surgical teams to provide “personalized and optimized pain treatment for anaesthetized, non-communicating patients.”

With this invention, pain can be managed objectively, without over- or under-medication, which is especially important in non-communicative dementia patients.

PMD-200 uses artificial intelligence and a proprietary a non-invasive sensor platform to monitor and quantify patient’s pain objectively. This is especially useful when treating people with dementia or Alzheimer’s as they are often unable to communicate properly.

“While pain is a major clinical, social and economic problem, affecting quality of life for hundreds of millions of people globally, measurement of pain has remained subjective,” explains Medasense’s website. “Consequently, pain care is not tailored to patients’ specific needs, opioid addiction has become an epidemic, and the direct costs of pain-related healthcare are soaring.”

Much of Medasense’s research is being conducted in collaboration with Dorot Rehabilitation and Geriatric Medical Center in Netanya, Israel. Dorot is one of the largest geriatric centers in the country and is affiliated with the Technion Faculty of Medicine. It specializes in chronic medicine, rehabilitation, nursing, geropsychiatry, respite care, hospice, chronic ventilator-dependent care and acute geriatric medicine.

“We want to make sure that we are providing our patients with individually tailored pain control: we don’t want to be giving pain medication when it may not be necessary and we don’t want to be under-treating pain,” explained Dr. Ady Sasson, Deputy Director of Dorot, in an official statement released by Medasense. “Until now we haven’t had the tools to be able to know.”

There are some 50 million people worldwide living with dementia, with 10 million new cases diagnosed each year.

“Practitioners and caregivers have long been assessing pain in dementia patients using subjective indicators, such as restlessness, agitation, facial expression, moaning, altered respiration or behavioral changes,” said Medasense. “However, these indicators fail to be specific enough to know how much pain the person is experiencing and to identify the correct form of medication to relieve their suffering.”

The project is being supported by the Israeli Innovation Authority and the Ministry of Health.

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