February 29, 2024

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Chronic Pain Management with Chatbot

Chronic pain continues to be a prevailing health challenge in Australia, driving individuals to seek medical care. With no definitive cure available for most chronic pain conditions, managing this complex and costly health issue demands innovative solutions.

A team of researchers from CSIRO, RECOVER Injury Research Centre, the Tess Cramond Pain and Research Centre, and the Queensland Interdisciplinary Paediatric Pain Service collaborated to explore the potential of therapeutic chatbots in improving communication between people suffering from chronic pain and healthcare professionals.

Their creation, Dolores, is revolutionising the way patients report pain data and receive personalised education, offering hope for enhanced pain management outcomes.

An Innovative Solution

Dolores, the therapeutic chatbot, represents a technological leap forward compared to traditional language models that power chatbots like ChatGPT. Unlike its counterparts, Dolores operates from a knowledge base and conversation flow built by occupational, speech, and physio therapists, derived from diverse experiences with clients of different ages. This unique approach ensures that the chatbot’s responses are tailored to meet the specific needs of users, enhancing the overall quality of interactions.

Pain History Interview

One of the pivotal roles Dolores fulfils is administering a “pain history interview.” Through this process, the chatbot poses targeted questions about the user’s pain experience. These inquiries cover aspects like the onset, location, and duration of pain, as well as the sensations, emotions, and impact on daily life.

Dolores also delves into the user’s understanding of pain and perceptions of different treatment options. The chatbot’s ability to receive responses through talking, typing, or drawing empowers users to express their pain in a manner they find most comfortable and comprehensive.

Interpreting Pain through Drawings

Dolores’s unique feature lies in its capacity to interpret colours used in drawings, though it cannot yet discern the drawing itself. Research has shown that red and black are commonly utilised in “painting pain,” and Dolores acknowledges these colours when soliciting more information about a doodle. The next version of Dolores aims to incorporate sketch recognition technology, which will grant the chatbot a deeper understanding of the drawings, providing extended engagement with clients.

Positive Reception and Future Prospects

Dolores has garnered positive feedback from various cohorts of patients, cutting across different age groups. The chatbot’s user-friendly interface and personalised approach have been particularly well-received. Building on this success, the research team plans to integrate Dolores into the broader chronic pain intervention platform, Pain ROADMAP, expanding its reach and impact.

Catering to Diverse Needs

The significance of Dolores becomes even more pronounced when considering its potential impact on clients and communities with distinct languages and communication challenges. Often, children and individuals with language disorders experience higher rates of chronic pain but face difficulties in effectively communicating their pain experiences. Dolores’s adaptability to respond to children with short, age-appropriate answers and gradually increasing complexity with the user’s age is a critical step forward in bridging the communication gap between patients and healthcare professionals.

Enhanced Communication for Effective Pain Management

By facilitating more comprehensive pain reporting and offering tailored education, Dolores serves as a powerful tool to enhance communication between users and healthcare professionals. The chatbot’s ability to provide clinicians with insights into the symbols of pain through drawings further strengthens the patient-provider relationship.

With Dolores, healthcare professionals can gain valuable insights into the unique pain experiences of their patients, enabling them to devise more effective and personalised pain management strategies.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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