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UHN to test app for post-surgical pain management

Tahir JanmohamedTORONTO – The Toronto General Hospital’s Transitional Pain Service has selected ManagingLife’s Manage My Pain app to help prevent the development of chronic, postsurgical pain for at-risk patients post-surgery. Toronto General is part of the University Health Network; each year, it performs more than 25,000 surgical operations.

The cloud-based smartphone app, which has over 20,000 users from over 130 countries, empowers chronic pain sufferers with conditions like fibromyalgia, back pain, and migraines. It allows them to record what they are feeling so they can better describe their pain and better communicate with their physicians.

Chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP) develops in 5%-10% of patients one-year after major surgery and is estimated to have direct and indirect costs of US$41,000 per patient. In addition, CPSP has devastating humanitarian effects, which may include depression, disability, and opioid dependency or abuse.

The Transitional Pain Service (TPS) at the Toronto General Hospital is one of the world’s first programs to comprehensively address the problem of Chronic Postsurgical Pain (CPSP) for at-risk patients. Through coordinated care by a multidisciplinary team, TPS starts before a patient has surgery and continues for up to six months after the patient is discharged from hospital.

Essential to the effectiveness of the TPS is its ability to engage, monitor, and intervene with patients in the critical months following surgery. Patients of the TPS will use Manage My Pain to record their pain once they are discharged from the hospital, which can then be remotely monitored by the TPS team.

“This app will allow patients to stay on top of their pain and medication use on an hourly to daily basis, and enable us to quickly identify patients that are in distress,” says Dr. Hance Clarke, Director of the TPS. “We are hoping that this feedback from our patients outside of the clinic will help us intervene when needed while empowering patients.”

The 18-month demonstration project is funded through Ontario Centres of Excellence’s AdvancingHealth program. The Toronto General Hospital, ManagingLife, and York University partnered for the grant, which is only one of five awarded to healthcare innovators – the project is set to begin in December 2015.

“The AdvancingHealth program helped both us and our partners navigate through some of the challenges of getting impactful innovation into the hospital,” says Tahir Janmohamed (pictured), CEO of ManagingLife. “Because of this program, we now have the opportunity to be one of the world’s first quantifiable examples of using mobile health technology to help prevent CPSP and its associated costs.”

About ManagingLife
ManagingLife is a private company based in Toronto that develops mobile tools to connect patients and clinicians for more efficient and effective pain management. With its award-winning app, Manage My Pain, ManagingLife helps chronic pain sufferers better communicate with their care teams and works with institutions to support research trials, clinical services, and population management. Learn more at http://www.managinglife.com/

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
OCE is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (“ONE”). Through its AdvancingHealth Program, OCE bolsters innovation in Ontario’s public healthcare sector by matching healthcare needs with innovative products and services through partnerships between public healthcare organizations, companies and academic institutions. Learn more at www.oce-ontario.org/getting-started/entrepreneurs-startups.

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