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York U Researchers to look for patterns in patient data from ManagingLife’s pain diary app

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A digital journal of pain occurrences maintained by the users of an innovative app, Manage My Pain, will be the key source for their upcoming study, said York University psychology researchers. The app’s developer ManagingLife, a privately held mobile tool developer based in Toronto, Canada, will provide the large database to York U in a collaborative effort.

ManagingLife created the app, Manage My Pain, with an aim to improve doctor-patient communication. However, the researchers believe the data could help shape future treatments of pain.

“These patient-reported outcomes will help us reveal previously unexplored patterns in pain, both in terms of intensity and the number of occurrences,” said Professor Joel Katz, Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York U. “Most chronic pain studies involve hundreds of participants, but thanks to this app, we have several thousands of patients’ data to work with including hundreds of thousands of data points.”

The analysis will be done at York U’s Human Pain Mechanisms Lab, where Katz is the Principal Investigator. The lab has published numerous studies about the psychological, emotional, and biomedical factors involved in acute and chronic pain that affect approximately 20% of the Canadian population.

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