Team: Tyler Davis, Alison Long, Botao Peng
Clients: Dr. Christine Ritchie, MD, Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging at UCSF Nicole Thompson, Clinical Research Coordinator, UCSF Geriatrics
Problem: Pain intensity is difficult to accurately and frequently measure, and often relies on digital technology that is convoluted and challenging to use for some patient types.
Needs Statement: A device that accurately gauges pain intensity in older adults with multiple chronic conditions, in order to improve the clinical prescription of pain medication.
Older adults with multiple chronic conditions are typically excluded from research studies as these conditions can be complicating factors in clinical trials. Patients with chronic pain also have less motivation to participate in experimental studies, and older patients have limitations in dexterity, vision, and cognitive function that lower their clinical trial candidacy. Prior to this project, Dr. Ritchie launched the Cognitive-activity Assessment in Response to Rx Intervention (CARRI) project, which attempts to engage chronic pain patients with technology for a real-time assessment of pain, cognition, function, and medication use. Although the system allows for a comprehensive investigation into the effects of pain medication, it has many shortcomings. Perhaps the largest drawback of the system is the time it requires from the patient; the three cognitive tests take up to an hour each day to complete, on top of the time required to make multiple pain and medication inputs.
Population: Older patients, with multiple chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and liver conditions, who often have lower dexterity and visual capabilities than other patient types and a limited familiarity with digital technology.
Outcome: Allow clinicians to see correlations between medication intake and pain levels throughout the day, and make adjustments to medication prescriptions accordingly, in order to reduce drug side effects and provide patients with better pain management.