Digital rehabilitation to alleviate pain
Artificial intelligence applied to medicine can mean a qualitative leap in the adherence to treatment of patients with various pathologies, while improving their physical conditions, well-being and quality of life.
In this context, telerehabilitation and pain are two terms that, according to current evidence, can and should be related as an effective and determining solution for chronic pain.
Borisovskaya et al. stated in their study that between 25 and 35% of adults worldwide suffer from some form of chronic pain. This means that approximately more than 1,500 million people are affected by some type of ailment. Some reports would indicate that chronic pain affects more people in the United States than diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, suggesting a need to better understand and treat this problem.
The cost it produces is estimated to be $365-560 billion a year to global health systems in resources such as health care utilization, disability, and lost productivity at work.
In Spain, chronic pain affects approximately 18% of the population, and its intensity is considered between moderate and intense in 12% of cases (Carames et al, 2017).
Aware of this fact, Grünenthal, as an innovative and leading pain management company in our country, launched the Dolor.com project, with the aim of informing, educating and finding solutions to this major public health problem.
For this reason, to continue innovating and remain at the forefront of the fight against pain, they have incorporated our telerehabilitation tool, TRAK, into their project. As you already know, it uses the camera of the mobile, tablet or laptop, so that its artificial intelligence system analyzes the positions and range of movement of the patient in real time. In this way, the person receives corrections through voice and text messages during the exercise, as can be seen.
Our tool has already been tested in various centers in Spain such as the Torrejón University Hospital (Madrid); the Vinapoló University Hospital (Elche); and the Ribera Povisa Hospital (Vigo), and physiotherapists and specialist doctors participated in its development and design.
With the objective of determining its efficacy and adherence, a first study was launched in which 60 patients with shoulder pathology were involved, in which it was determined that “98.5% of those surveyed felt the same or better than in previous sessions after completing the exercise plan. This figure is linked to greater adherence, going from 24% according to the current evidence to 278%.
In addition, our platform is classified by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) as a Class I Health Product, which gives it the CE marking and the attached prior operating health license. This implies compliance with the legal and technical security requirements of the Member States of the European Union.
It is for these reasons that the pharmaceutical company has placed its trust in our company and our platform as the ideal ones for a collaboration of these characteristics.
TRAK is presented as an “alternative” to the “lack of a standard method of digital rehabilitation treatments” and makes it easier for patients, from home, to complete therapeutic exercises from any device, remarked from TRAK, Jon Vital, CEO and co-founder of the company. “Performing physical exercise is essential in any rehabilitation process, but we observed some difficulty for patients to comply with routines and adhere to treatment,” insists Vital.
Telerehabilitation and Dolor.com
TRAK is moved to the patients’ homes with the purpose of making it “attractive” and those who make use of this tool “see it as a game and encourage them to complete the exercises.” In this way, Grünenthal offers users of its specialized pain website five protocols aimed at reducing pain and maintaining joint function.
Each one of the protocols establishes sessions of between 20 and 25 minutes, structured in a maximum of seven exercises for each specialty. During its execution, our tool identifies twenty body points of the patient, thanks to a postural estimation algorithm (pose estimation), which facilitates assistance during the rehabilitation process and the immediate correction of incorrect postures and movements.
To access the platform, the patient can do it directly, without the need for wearables or the registration of personal data, but always with the recommendation and approval of their health professional to guarantee that the exercises available for each ailment are carried out. In any case, they represent a reinforcement of the prescribed treatment.
At the end of each session, the patient will be able to have data related to each completed exercise and must complete a brief questionnaire that will determine, depending on the ailments or the absence of them, the continuity of the proposed rehabilitation plan or the suggestion that he request a consultation with your specialist doctor to analyze the suitability of the available exercises.
This guided experience also has the endorsement of the Spanish Society of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine (SERMEF)