Technology allows researchers to see patients’ real-time pain while in the clinic

by Larry Emmott on July 11, 2019

in Future Tech

From University of Michigan News:

Wearing special augmented reality glasses (in this case, the Microsoft HoloLens), researchers viewed the subject’s brain activity in real time on a reconstructed brain template, while the subjects sat in the clinical chair. The red and blue dots on the image denote location and level of brain activity, and this “pain signature” was mirror-displayed on the augmented reality screen. The more pain signatures the algorithm learns to read, the more accurate the pain assessment.

Source: Technology allows researchers to see patients’ real-time pain while in the clinic | University of Michigan News

Very interesting. If you read the linked article you see that all this is very preliminary and a lot more research and testing is needed. Nevertheless it is fascinating.

I wonder if the system can distinguish “real” pain and imagined pain. I expect all dentists have encountered the fearful patient who experienced “pain” when you simply touched their gingiva with a gloved finger.

This is the kind of system that will be incorporated into the future “tricorder” systems and real time heads up displays we will use while treating patients.

 

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