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Grasp & Grasp Buddy for pain assessment and remote patient monitoring

Alternative title: Grasp & Grasp Buddy for kartlegging av smerte og avstandsoppfølging av pasienter

Awarded: NOK 24.7 mill.

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Project Period:

2022 - 2025

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To assess pain in patients is challenging and time consuming. Established clinical practices and tools can be complicated and hard for patients to understand. The measurements are also costly and require clinical resources which can result in missing reporting. The most common pain-scales allows patients to report their pain as a number from zero to ten to indicate their pain level. This approach has limitations and there is a need for solutions where patients can seamlessly and effortlessly report their pain levels, and where these reports are stored and can be used to identify patterns in retrospect. Grasp is a tangible device with a force sensor. In this project we will investigate how Grasp can be used for reporting and assessing pain. We will run tests of how different pain levels can be measured with grasp and tangible interaction, and how such data can be visualized and understood. We will also run trials of how Grasp can be used in the monitoring and treatment of pain in adults before and after surgery at Haukeland University Hospital (HUS). The aim is to use Grasp to develop a new way to express, report and measure pain in a continuous, reliable, and systematic manner. In collaboration with patients and personnel at the Children and Youth Clinic at HUS we will develop a customized version of Grasp for children. Children can have difficulties in how to quantify their experience of pain, and there is great protentional in using tangible interactions to report pain in this context. In collaboration with the Municipality of Kvam we will make inquires to how Grasp can support patients in remote monitoring from their home. The results from the research and innovation will form the basis for new and validated methods to assess pain in adults and children. The aim is that it will lead to more efficient follow up of patients outside the hospital and reduce the length of stays at the hospital and the frequency of consultations.

The subjective experiences of pain challenge objective measurements and grading. Patients find it difficult to communicate when and how intensively pain is manifested, while physicians have difficulties assessing the patient's experience of pain. Children are especially disadvantaged in expressing their own pain, particularly those who are preverbal or with limited cognitive capacities. Observing and tracking frequency and intensity of pain is an important factor for treating and preventing the worsening of pain among both adults and children. Today’s methods and tools, however, are not able to assess pain in an objective and continuous way nor to effectively follow-up patients and the evolution of their symptoms remotely, while at home. The healthcare sector lacks effective digital tools for a seamless follow-up outside hospitals and general practices. We aim to develop Grasp and Grasp Buddy, two new solutions for adults and children to communicate acute and recurring pain objectively and continuously, and for health personnel and parents to remotely monitor their symptoms. The novel solutions are based on the innovative technology developed by GRASP and on a new method for assessing pain in children to be developed by the University of Bergen. The project intends to pilot and validate the novel solutions at Haukeland University Hospital and at the general practice Helsebanken Legekontor in the municipality of Kvam.

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