A new study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease that confirms the validity and reliability of the Electronic Pain Assessment Tool (ePAT) in people with moderate to severe dementia.
The news has been welcomed by ePAT Technologies (ASX:EPT) as representing another milestone in the commercialisation of its smartphone App for pain detection.
The study comprised 353 paired observations in 40 people with moderate to severe dementia (aged 60-98 years).
ePAT Technologies is developing mobile medical applications that are intended to provide pain assessment for individuals that are unable to communicate verbally with their carers.
"Pain assessments derived from ePAT were compared with a widely used existing pain scale (Abbey Pain Scale). The results showed a strong positive correlation between the two tools," said the company.
According to co-author, Professor Jeff Hughes from Curtin University, the results are important given the potential for point-of-care pain detection systems to deliver better health outcomes for patients.
“Pain is very common among people with dementia but as the disease progresses they often lose their ability to communicate verbally, so the pain goes undetected. Being able to show the validity and reliability of an app used on a smartphone is an important step toward the adoption of more convenient technologies to derive accurate pain assessments,” said Professor Hughes.
ePAT CEO Phillip Daffas also welcomed the results.
“This is another important milestone in showing the effectiveness of the ePAT technology,” he said. “Smart phone enabled medical Apps are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare market. Demonstrating validity and reliability in peer reviewed journals is difficult, time-consuming work. But they are critical benchmarks for companies that want to be major players in that space. So having these results accepted in a peer reviewed journal is very important to us.”