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Pain Scale Coach - App Review

User Rating: 4 / 5

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Do you suffer from chronic pain or treat patients suffering from chronic pain? As you would know, self-management is one of the cornerstones of successful pain management. So today I am going to review the Pain Scale Coach App which offers a FREE suite of tools to help chronic pain patients better manage their treatment process.

As per the description provided by the app owners (Boston Scientific), PainScale provides personalized daily pain management education for users.

Demo Use

So without further ado, let's get on with reviewing it. 

I downloaded the Android version of the app which is free to download and install, though a similar iOS version is also available. 

On opening the app, it provides the user with option to sign in or just start using it without registering and providing any personal data. At the outset, the user is asked to provide some information about their pain experience to allow the app to personalise the content and recommendations from the app. Specifically, the questions relate to duration of pain. Next the user is presented with some specific chronic pain conditions. I chose CRPS and depression, but other options included conditions such as cancer pain, diabetes, radiculopathy, lumbar stenosis, multiple failed back surgeries, stenosis etc.

Then the next step is to note all the treatment options that the user has tried in the past. There is a vast array of options including acupuncture, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, spinal cord stimulation, surgeries etc. The user is then asked to select their gender and the app then customises your experience. Once the configuration was completed, I was presented with educational articles related to my condition and pain presentation from various health websites e.g. WedMD, Healthline etc. These articles were customised based on the preferences and pain presentation I had chosen. 

There are 5 tabs in the bottom menu, the home page is where recommended articles are presented. 

Second section is learn, where you can find detailed information about pain conditions, treatments and other pain management tips and tricks. 

In the log section, you can log your pain by the location, nature, intensity, type of pain as well as any treatments you have had and how it made you feel. You can also leave personal notes for yourself in relation to how you are doing and if there are any specific reminders you wish to make for yourself. 

The insight section is locked in the first instance, but as you log more of your pain days, the insight section is opened and you can see the trends over a period of time, how the pain impacts your activity, treatments that helped you and impact of pain on your sleep, activity and mood. It can be used to provide personal tips to help the user discover treatment options to better manage their condition. 

Finally there is the Journal section where you can log your pain scores as well as food and writing a general journal entry about your day. You can then prepare a report from within specific time periods e.g. 7 days, 30 days, 90 days or all of your pain recordings and send it to your treating clinicians. 

Review comments

Immediately, I can see the benefit of this app for the chronic pain patients. It has some really useful features such as personalising content related to the patient's own condition, being able to keep a pain diary/ journal as well as monitor and share the impact of their pain on their daily life with their treating clinicians. The interface and design is clean and user friendly. The content comes from authoritative sources such as WebMD and Healthline. The Learn section is very comprehensive and appears to be regularly updated. 

Overall, for a free app, PainScale Coach does an excellent job of providing education, monitoring and self-management advice for patients presenting with chronic pain. 

Download it from Google Play Store or Apple IOS store

Have you used this app? Do you agree with my review, leave your thoughts in the comments. 

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