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Projects

Pain Studies Lab @ Virtual Medicine 2019 — Cedar-Sinai Medical Center

By | Demos, Conferences, Projects

Dr. Diane Gromala was invited to give a talk at Virtual Medicine 2019, a medicine and immersive virtual reality (VR) conference at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

In her talk, “How VR Cures by Enabling Self-Awareness,” Dr. Gromala discussed her approach to developing, testing and deploying VR technology for chronic pain patients. A pioneer in Virtual Reality (VR) for long-term pain, Dr. Gromala’s approach is the result of technological innovation, user-centered design, and scientific evidence-based research she has conducted with thousands of patients since 1991.

Members of the Pain Studies Lab — Dr. Chris Shaw, Bhairavi Warke (Ph.D. student) and Ruoyu Li (M.Sc. student) — also participated in the conference. They demonstrated LumaPath, one of the lab’s scientifically-validated immersive VR systems for reducing chronic pain through exercise. The team both develops the VR technology and designs the ‘content’ of what patients see, hear and interact with.

Currently, the team is investigating the longitudinal effects of VR used at home by chronic pain patients. As VR has been termed a non-pharmacological “analgesic,” the team is also investigating what the best “VR dosage” is — that is, what the best duration in VR is for the ideal analgesic effect.

Dr. Gromala discussing Mental Health Applications of VR at Virtual Medicine 2019 with Dr. Les Posen, Dr. Skip Rizzo, Noah Robinson & Dr. Jessica Stone.

Bhairavi Warke and Ruoyu Li conducting VR demos.

Pain Studies Lab’s HQP Weina Jin attended AGE-WELL’s Summer Institute

By | Awards, Events, Other News, Projects

Weina Jin, a Ph.D. student in the Pain Studies Lab, was selected amongst a competitive group of HQPs (highly qualified personnel), as 1 of 18 recipients of AGE-WELL’s 3rd Annual EPIC Summer Institute (http://agewell-nce.ca/training/summerinstitute) in Banff, Alberta from June 18 – 22, 2018. AGE-WELL is a Canada-wide research network and National Centre of Excellence (NCE).

The theme of this year’s AGE-WELL Summer Institute was “Co-Creating Possibilities: Leisure, Recreation, and Wellness – Opportunities for Engaging the Older Adult”. In this one-week project-based learning experience, multidisciplinary teams worked through a design process, from problem definition to brainstorming solutions, developing business models and knowledge mobilization plans, to successfully pitching the projects.

Weina and her team created a project to increase seniors’ engagement in a variety of activities. They designed a mobile app they named “PlayWell.” It recommends engaging activities for newly-retired populations to fight against boredom. During the development of the projects, the team received mentorship from AGE-WELL members about defining a problem definition with stakeholders, designing a business model and developing a market strategy.

Recipients of AGE-WELL’s 3rd Annual EPIC Summer Institute at Banff.

Pain Studies Lab’s AI Research at CPS 2018

By | Collaborations, Conferences, Projects

Prof. Diane Gromala, Prof. Chris Shaw, and Weina Jin attended the Canadian Pain Society’s 39th Annual Scientific Meeting in Montreal, May 22-25, 2018.

“Automatic Pain Level Classification with Physiological Signals”
Weina Jin, Diane Gromala, Junbo Bao, Yabin Guo, Tianpeio Shen, Oliver Schulte.

Weina Jin presented results from her research study using deep learning to automatically recognize pain levels from physiological signals. This approach may help to better infer pain from patients who cannot express their pain verbally, such as infants, patients under anesthesia, or patients with dementia.

“Towards a Canadian National Pain Strategy: What We Can Learn from the Aussies.”
Dr. Owen Williamson

An esteemed collaborator with the Pain Studies Lab, Dr. Owen Williamson, FRCSC & President of Pain Physicians of BC Society, presented a talk entitled “Towards a Canadian National Pain Strategy: What We Can Learn from the Aussies.”

The Canadian Pain Society’s 39th Annual Scientific Meeting promotes competency-based education and advocates on behalf of patients with acute and chronic pain by bringing together basic scientists and health professionals who are interested in pain research and management.

Xin Tong Released FitPet App for Encouraging Physical Activities at Google Play

By | Projects

Xin Tong (game designer and developer), together with Amber Choo (game designer and artist), graduate students at Pain Studies Lab, released their App called FitPet designed for providing motivations for more physical activities. The idea is to convert the users health data grabbed by the mobile devices accelerometer (steps) into game coins, where you will need to keep your virtual pet healthy and grow up by feeding food, providing first aid, and play games with your pet. So users need to take care of their pet by taking care of their physical activities. This gamification approach was designed to promote more steps and awareness towards walking in daily routine for users who are lack of motivations and activities.

This is part of Xin Tongs Msc thesis research prototype. She is currently conducting a six-week long-term user study with 23 participants to validate her research proposal and hypothesis. Users need to set their daily activity goals and try to keep their pet in a good condition by completing goals. For more information, please contact Xin at tongxint@sfu.ca. App for iPhone is still under review process but is coming soon. Download the App to your Android phone from here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=xinAmber.FitPet.fitpet