Southern Hills Hospital in Nevada completed a pilot of a technology that used Samsung tablets and a wearable EEG reader to assess patients’ pain. The technology attempts to lessen that pain with distracting content.
The pilot is a collaboration among Samsung, AccendoWave and Southern Hills. 1,000 ER patients, including adults and children, were equipped with Samsung Galaxy tablets and EEG reading headbands that were modified using the Samsung Knox toolkit. The tablet and headband replaced the hospital’s normal system for reporting patient pain —a 10-point scale accompanied by emoticons.
With the EEG technology, the sensor is able to guess at the patient’s pain level and present it to them on the screen. The patient then agrees or disagrees to arrive at the pain level that’s sent to doctors and nurses. The tablet features a range of video and music content that it plays for patients based on their comfort level, as well as their choices.
Citing a 2012 study, Samsung notes that there appears to be a physical mechanism whereby distracting patients from pain triggers a natural opioid release that reduces pain.
“The technology tries to sense the patient’s level of discomfort and identify content that relaxes each individual,” AccendoWave CEO Martha Lawrence said in a statement. “It changes up the content to serve up more of what the patient is really focusing on. The patient can do a ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ to indicate likes or dislikes, so it factors that in as well.”
Out of nearly 1,000 Southern Hills patients who used the technology, 90% enjoyed using it, 81% said it improved their comfort level, 77% felt it accurately understood their level of discomfort and 87% reported that they enjoyed the content they were shown.
In the future, Southern Hills hopes to take the technology further. With this technology, nurses could monitor the AccendoWave data and see when the patient’s pain is increasing to intercept and administer pain medication to patients sooner.