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U of Michigan start-up’s app lets patients use a 3-D model to describe their pain to doctors


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 10th, 2018

A start-up from the University of Michigan (U-M) is developing an app that lets patients show doctors where they are experiencing pain by drawing it on a 3-D model.

GeoPain by Moxytech is currently being used by a number of medical offices across Michigan. Users of the app can highlight which areas hurt and explain how much pain they are experiencing to professionals.

Moxytech co-founder Alexandre DaSilva, who is also a clinician and the director of U-M’s Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort, believes the app fills in a major gap in the ability of doctors to understand their patients’ pain levels.

“In the clinic, it was always subjective,” says DaSilva. “Even though I could look at very high-tech things in the research side, in the clinical side, to correlate things, it was much harder, because I had to ask my patients, ‘Zero to ten, what’s your pain?’ Which was very subjective.”

The app is designed to make it easier for patients to precisely describe their symptoms. “I realized that the 2-D map, the drawing, was not really good for the patients, because a body is in 3-D,” DaSilva says. “The patients in the studies, and even those in the clinics, they were very excited about this.”

Moxytech co-founder Eric Maslowski says GeoPain speaks to the virtues of applying university research to real problems in the health care industry.

“I’d always been captivated by the meaningful uses of technology,” he comments. “Not just technology for technology’s sake, but to actually use it as a positive agent on larger groups of people.”

Source: The Michigan Daily

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