Communicating pain can be challenging as pain is subjective, and individual differences in perception make it challenging to express and objectively measure it. From a physician’s point of view it proves difficult to assess the evolution of patients’ symptoms. Expressing discomfort is particularly challenging for people suffering from chronic pain (i.e. lasting > 3 months), affecting a large part of the population as about 30% Norwegians have reported suffering from it. Pain (both somatic and chronic) represents one of the most common issues in primary care consultations. E.g. pain deriving from inflammations, arthrosis, osteoporosis, surgery, cancer, etc.
We intend to research and develop a new technological solution for patients to communicate pain objectively and continuously, and for general practitioners to map and remotely monitor their symptoms. We have developed GRASP, an innovative medical device for registering symptoms over time. It is composed of a tangible interface (sensor-equipped, pressure-based device) and digital interfaces for patients and physicians. When squeezed, the device records time, strength, duration, and frequency of the squeeze enabling the user to easily record symptoms as they happen. The squeezes are then visualised as a log in the digital interfaces.
The innovation has the potential to disrupt the way patients communicate pain to physicians and the way doctors monitor the progress of their patients’ health. While state-of-the-art solutions allow patients to record their symptoms in a subjective and intermittent way only, GRASP enables an objective and continuous (and thus more precise) recording and measurement of symptoms. This will provide physicians with a more effective decision-support and monitoring tool for treating patients affected by somatic and chronic pain, increase the efficiency of health services, and improve the health benefits of patients.