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

The Manage My Pain phone  app provides users with the ability to track their pain. The app provides comprehensive reports that are based on the user's input
The Manage My Pain phone app provides users with the ability to track their pain. It also creates comprehensive reports based on the user’s input

A digital journal of pain occurrences maintained by the users of an innovative app called Manage My Pain will be the key source for an upcoming study by York University psychology researchers. The mobile app’s developer, ManagingLife, will provide its large database to York University in this collaborative effort to better understand pain.

ManagingLife created the app with an aim to improve doctor-patient communication. York University 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,” says Professor Joel Katz, Canada Research Chair in Health Psychology at York University. “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 University’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 per cent of the Canadian population.

“I am very excited that ManagingLife will work with lead researchers at York University, like Dr. Katz, in this project,” says Tahir Janmohamed, CEO of the mobile technology firm. “I strongly believe that by empowering patients to record their pain issues themselves, we would be able to unlock invaluable insights to help drive research for better treatment of chronic pain.”