Pain management app set to improve patient care
A new mobile app is set to transform the care of patients with long-standing pain issues. Designed and developed in collaboration between the Keele University Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences and Keele University Science & Business Park-based software developers Secret Attic, the app allows patients to use their smartphone to record their levels of wellbeing each day.
The information tracked by the app can then be used by their doctor to review how well the patient is responding to medication, enabling them to ensure that the patient is receiving the best treatment for their condition.
Dr David White, managing director of Secret Attic, said: "Mobile technology has become part of people's everyday lives, with people using apps to record things such as food eaten and exercise taken. Using this principle in pain management allows a patient to quickly and easily keep a 'diary' of their wellbeing, which they and their doctor can refer to at appointments – meaning the patient doesn't have to try to recall how they felt on a particular day.
The app is currently undergoing clinical trials. Dr John Bedson, senior lecturer in general practice at Keele University, said: "We believe we are the first to apply this type of app in clinical trials and are looking forward to seeing the results. When available, this could be used not just to help individual patients, but the data gathered could also be used anonymously to aid future research into pain management."
The collaboration of app designers and developers came about, in part, due to Secret Attic's base on Keele University's on-campus Science & Business Park. The business has been based in the Science Park's start-up incubating Nova Centre since April 2014. Dr David White adds: "Being based with other start-ups provides a positive and productive atmosphere for Secret Attic, with staff from Keele University Science & Business Park always on hand to share expert advice on legal, finance and marketing matters.
"It's great to be at the heart of a university campus, among other likeminded entrepreneurs in an environment that is constantly looking to innovation. The proximity to a number of highly technical companies, plus researchers at Keele University, is something that we hope will continue to provide opportunities for collaboration. In fact, we have an increasing number of projects in the pipeline that mean Secret Attic will be looking to take on additional staff over the coming months."