Australian company PainChek (ASX:PCK) says it been granted a patent in Japan for its smartphone pain assessment and monitoring technology.
The app automatically detects pain via artificial intelligence and facial recognition software. It is designed to help people unable to verbalise their pain.
The technology is currently being rolled out via residential aged care facilities in Australia following a $5 million grant from the federal government.
According to CEO Philip Daffas, the patent in Japan is significant given the size of the population and the country's ageing demographic.
“Recent estimates suggest that at least one in four Japanese residents is aged 65 years or older. Japan has a big population – around 126 million - and the number of elderly people is set to grow significantly in the future. This patent is an important step in opening up significant commercial opportunities for PainChek, especially given the focus on quality aged care services in Japan,” said Mr Daffas.
The company said it is also progressing its global expansion plans. It recently secured a patent in the US for its pain assessment app and says it is on track to obtain FDA DeNovo regulatory clearance.
"The DeNovo process provides a pathway to classify novel medical devices and will allow PainChek to begin marketing the invention in the US," it said.
PainChek announced its first UK order in 2019 with the signing of a 1,000-bed annual license. It also completed the registration of its trademark in the US and the European Union.
“All early indications are that the global demand for PainChek will be substantial. With regulatory clearance in a range of markets, international patents being secured, trademarks being granted and the company starting to secure sales in the UK, we feel uniquely positioned to leverage the full global value of our remarkable IP and all the hard work to this point,” said Mr Daffas.