Some researchers are exploring a new method for measuring pain that involves studying the pupils of a patient. After observing an involuntary response in pupils as a result of pain or medication, a device was developed that “measures a patient’s pupillary response and, using proprietary algorithms, provides a diagnostic measurement of pain intensity, pain type and, after treatment is administered, monitors efficacy.”

The traditional method for measuring pain involves a 0 to 10 scale that is subjective and self-reported. This approach increases the chances for misdiagnosis, over-treatment or under-treatment since it is not objectively measured.

Benefits for this new approach include understanding the effectiveness of alternative methods for pain management (e.g., acupuncture, laughter therapy, virtual reality, etc.), providing a standardized and objective approach to pain management, quantifying pain for pediatric and nonverbal patients, addressing the opioid crisis and more.

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