App-Delivered Feedback Can Decrease Both Pain and Costs

Pain patient monitoring is receiving assistance from mobile devices. Smartphone apps offer time- and cost-effective connections between the few pain specialists and the many patients in pain, through tracking of pain and mood, levels of physical activity, medication side effects, and overall treatment compliance. Another aspect of the pairing of pain patients and apps is better maintenance of electronic diaries over traditional paper, which in turn provide specialists with additional information.

The app offers patients the ability to track their daily pain by answering 5 questions on 1 to 10 scale. If ratings increase significantly or reach a 9 or a 10, the pain specialist is contacted. Researchers have hypothesized that these apps could cut ED visits and hospitalizations by half.

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