Non-drug Chronic Pain Management System using Brain Computer Interface (BCI)
Chronic pain, defined as persistent pain lasting more than three months is a significant healthcare burden that is difficult and costly to treat. The central pain treatment option is primary drug based that include the use of opioids, anticonvulsants, and anti-inflammatory agents, which are costly with relatively low success rates. More importantly, these options share the shortcomings of potentially serious adverse side effects, complications and cause dependency in the users.
Research has shown that chronic pain not only affects the central nervous system (CNS) but also arise from CNS dysfunction. It has been hypothesised that directly manipulating brain regions could improve pain modulatory systems and thereby reverse the abnormalities in the CNS. As a whole, the two most prominent problems facing existing management of chronic pain is the lack of an objective way to detect pain and the lack of a non-invasive and affordable method to treat the CNS in the handling of pain.
A Brain Computer Interface (BCI) based chronic pain management system was used to developed a pain neuromatrix modelling and decoding system to identify pain signature through correlating the electroencephalogram (EEG) signal to pain episodes. Thereafter, the technology owner developed a closed-loop sensing and neural feedback mechanism using joint attention and pain neuromatrix activity monitoring and stimulation to help chronic pain patients. The technology owner is looking for potential commercial partners to productise this medical technology and obtain relevant regulatory approval.