PainChek to develop pain assessment app for children with disabilities


PainChek is developing a version of its mobile pain assessment and monitoring app for non-verbal children with disabilities.

Its development has been backed by a A$392,820 grant (around $260,000) from the state government of Western Australia as part of the inaugural Innovation Seed Fund. The said fund has provided a total of A$8 million ($5.45 million) to 17 projects focused on improving the health and wellbeing of Western Australians.

The project titled, “Detecting pain in kids who can’t tell you it hurts: PainChek for children with disabilities,” is led by Jenny Downs of the Telethon Kids Institute, together with PainChek.


According to a media release, the project aims to create a digital tool that will allow rapid and accurate detection of pain to improve pain management for children who communicate non-verbally.

“Pain among children living with a disability is common and can have a significant negative impact on their quality of life. For those caring for these children, knowing when they are in pain can be challenging,” said PainChek Chief Scientific Officer Jeff Hughes.

The PainChek app uses AI and facial recognition to detect pain in those who cannot self-report. It is being rolled out in two phases globally – first for adults and second for infants who have yet to learn how to speak. Both versions have received regulatory clearance in various markets, including Australia, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada.

PainChek said it will hold the exclusive rights to use the intellectual property of the upcoming app for commercialisation. It will also have “global, non-revocable, exclusive and perpetual rights for future pain assessment tool development or refinement”.


Two weeks ago, ASX-listed PainChek put up an entitlement offer and a share placement in a bid to raise about $4.59 million to accelerate its global rollout. Specifically, the funds will support the development of the PainChek app for infants. 

In May last year, the company received approvals in Europe and the UK to commercialise its PainChek Infant app. It has been cleared for use among infants aged one to 12 months.


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