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Detecting patients’ pain levels via their brain signals

The system could help with diagnosing and treating patients that cannot communicate.


September 12, 2019
By ROB MATHESON | MIT NEWS OFFICE

Researchers from MIT and elsewhere have developed a system that measures a patient’s pain level by analyzing brain activity from a portable neuroimaging device.

The system could help doctors diagnose and treat pain in unconscious and noncommunicative patients, which could reduce the risk of chronic pain that can occur after surgery.

In a paper presented at the International Conference on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, the researchers describe a method to quantify pain in patients. To do so, they leverage an emerging neuroimaging technique called functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), in which sensors placed around the head measure oxygenated hemoglobin concentrations that indicate neuron activity. | READ MORE

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