Worried parents across Europe and Asia Pacific will soon be able to know when their pre-verbal infants are feeling pain with medtech company PainChek (ASX: PCK) securing regulatory approval for their facial recognition app that assesses pain levels.
Where infants cannot communicate their feelings, parents can take a quick smartphone video of the infant’s facial expressions with the app which decodes thousands of data points to provide a level of pain being endured by the child.
The regulatory approvals include CE Mark and UK MHRA which enables PainChek to launch the PainChek Infant app in Australia, Europe, UK, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand.
“We’re delighted to achieve this regulatory milestone ahead of schedule and continue to expand PainChek’s global markets. The PainChek Infant App is unique in that it completes a microfacial analysis through a 3 second video assessment and provides the carer with an instant result in relation to the infant’s pain severity level,” said PainChek CEO, Phillip Daffas.
“PainChek now assesses and automatically documents pain scores for adults who cannot verbalise, adults who can self-report and now infants. PainChek is rapidly becoming a universal pain assessment system for all people, everywhere.”
Once a video is uploaded, the app draws upon facial data collected from thousands of infants around the world as they underwent basic procedures such as vaccinations, finger and heel pricks, dressing changes or more invasive procedures such as biopsies.
While pain for such procedures are to be expected, lingering effects or side effects are much more difficult for parents to assess when the infants are still preverbal. Through the app, parents are able to identify problems sooner and subsequently seek medical intervention sooner if the pain is not expected.
Around the world, there are more than 400 million pre-verbal children, of which 100 million of those are born to first-time parents.
Launching the PainChek Infant app is an extension of PainChek’s services which were initially developed for aged care and pain assessment for the elderly.
Alongside the launch, PainChek is in active discussion with the Royal Children’s Hospital to explore clinical applications of the technology.