A tool that uses facial recognition software to detect pain in the elderly and people with dementia is making its way across Australian residential aged care villages.
Known as PainChek, its national rollout via Dementia Support Australia (DSA) is now underway for 150 consultants caring for up to 5000 people with dementia per annum.
The pilot started in October 2017 in WA for DSA-referred clients from residential and community aged care providers with behavioural problems. Results showed significant association between pain and clients’ behaviours.
PainChek chief executive Phillip Daffas said the device helped residents immensely by giving a voice to those who found it difficult to communicate.
Barossa Village general manager Matt Kowald said it altered the way the centre assessed pain and enabled staff to provide better pain care to the residents. “The automatic reporting feature has improved the efficiency of data handling, and simplified reporting for accreditation and auditing purposes,” he said.
Barossa Village houses 100 residents and has been using the product since November, Kowald said that it refocuses people to show that pain is a factor for behaviour.
He also pointed out the added benefits for non-users, saying that families like it as it supports someone that’s non-verbal.
“It’s nice to put a number on pain, it’s like taking your blood pressure, you have a number that’s measurable," he said.
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