In 2016, we at PainChek began our journey with a mission to support those who are unable to reliably self-report. Over the past half-decade, PainChek technology has benefited thousands of people worldwide, giving a voice to those with dementia, cognitive impairments, and disabilities who cannot verbalise their pain. We are proud to be the most commonly used clinical software in the Australian aged care sector, with more than 300,000 clinical assessments completed to date.

Now, PainChek is now entering the next chapter of intelligent pain assessment with PainChek Universal. Learn more about what PainChek Universal is, how it works, and the benefits of the solution here.

What is PainChek Universal?

PainChek Universal is a complete point-of-care solution that combines the existing PainChek® App with the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and data from PainChek® Analytics. This enables best-practice pain management for all residents living with pain in any environment — from those who cannot verbalise pain to those who can, and those who fluctuate between the two.

PainChek® App: giving a voice to those who cannot reliably verbalise pain

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Pain assessment is profoundly difficult, particularly amongst those who have lost their ability to reliably self-report their pain, such as those living with dementia or cognitive impairments. Existing tools are manual, paper-based and often not used at the point of care, leading to inconsistency and subjectivity when assessing pain.

PainChek® is the world’s first clinically proven digital pain assessment tool that detects pain in those who cannot self-report, in order to drive objectivity and consistency in all assessments.

PainChek uses artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to accurately assess the micro-facial features associated with pain, and automate the pain assessment process at the point of care. In addition to the face, PainChek assesses and maps 42 indicators of pain across five domains including behaviour, vocalisations, movement, activity, and the body to produce an accurate and objective pain score.

Since launching, PainChek has become the established standard of care within Residential Aged Care facilities and the benefits of the tool have been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals. There are more than 900 aged care facilities using PainChek across the country, and over 300,000 pain assessments have been completed by carers on those living with dementia.

Numerical Rating Scale: documenting the pain scores of those who can self-report


In many aged care facilities and home care settings, residents and patients are able to reliably verbalise their pain. The Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) is a well-established standard used to document self-reported pain levels amongst these individuals.

Using the NRS, patients can self-report their pain by identifying a number between 0 and 10 that best fits their pain intensity, where “0” represents no pain at all and “10” represents the worst pain ever possible. NRS results have typically been manually transcribed by care staff, which can be time-consuming and difficult to store — not to mention, historical data can quickly disappear, which creates inefficiencies in care planning and effective communication with clinicians.

Historically, PainChek® and the NRS have been separate pain assessment processes in terms of function and documentation. With PainChek Universal, carers can now document the pain scores of residents and patients directly within the app and access a resident or patient’s pain history with ease.

Helping better manage pain for those whose ability to communicate fluctuates


There are times when an aged care resident’s ability to reliably communicate the severity of their pain will fluctuate, with causes ranging from acute delirium brought on by a urinary tract infection, to the impacts of psychotropic medications. In these, and other scenarios, residents may require

access to both PainChek® and NRS over the course of a day, or even an hour.

PainChek Universal supports pain assessment using both tools at the point of care, and stores NRS pain scores alongside PainChek scores. The result is one universal solution that captures pain assessment data for all residents, regardless of their condition or ability to communicate their pain.

Furthermore, pain scores are documented in real-time, then seamlessly sent to your CMS and PainChek® Analytics within seconds of completion at the point of care. Through this, PainChek® ensures accurate pain assessment and enables best-practice pain management regardless of the situation.

Informing clinical decision-making with PainChek® Analytics


PainChek® Universal includes pain scores generated from both PainChek and the NRS in one solution. In turn, this generates significant data on pain assessment outcomes and activity at individual, facility and group levels, which providers can harness to inform medical decisions on pain management.

Via a tailored dashboard, clinicians and facility managers have access to a number of data points at their fingertips, including:

  • How pain assessments are being conducted
  • Frequency of pain assessments
  • Pain assessment history
  • Key assessment indicators
  • Top-performing facilities
  • Top power users within an organisation
  • And more

This unique and powerful dataset empowers clinicians as they make crucial medical decisions on pain management. PainChek® Analytics and is available online to all PainChek Universal clients through the PainChek® portal.

PainChek Universal: enabling best practice pain management

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PainChek Universal combines the clinically proven PainChek® App with the NRS pain scale and

PainChek® Analytics. This combination enables best-practice pain management for all residents, patients and people living with pain in any environment, whilst improving clinical processes through a fully digital product, training and documentation system.

PainChek Universal supports facilities to:

  • Ensure greater consistency and continuity in pain management. PainChek Universal enables facilities to adopt a congruent approach for pain detection in those who can and
  • cannot self-report pain. With access to the PainChek App and NRS in a single platform, PainChek Universal eliminates subjectivity from the pain assessment process, whilst providing an additional comparison at the point of care.
  • Streamline the pain assessment process. Carers and clinicians can assess and manage pain in all residents using a single tool, without the need to record and store information manually to access at a later date. PainChek Universal simplifies pain assessments with PainChek’s AI-powered facial recognition technology and the NRS, and allows carers to seamlessly switch between the two.
  • Simplified record-keeping and documentation: PainChek Universal enables providers to demonstrate compliance and support funding claims with one-click access to all historical pain assessment records in one place. Meanwhile, access to PainChek Analytics empowers clinicians with the vital information they need to make crucial medical decisions on pain management.

PainChek Universal is a medical device and has regulatory clearance in Australia, New Zealand, UK, European Union, Canada and Singapore. PainChek Universal will be rolling out into these markets in 2021 through our direct sales teams and distribution partners. PainChek’s integration partners based in Australia and international markets, including AlayaCare, AutumnCare, CareLynx, PCS, Sarah Software Solutions, HealthMetrics, LeeCare, Manad+, Telstra Health, and Medi-map NZ.

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