Facial Biometrics Could Help Doctors Manage Pain

Facial Biometrics Could Help Doctors Manage PainBiometric technology may be able to help doctors to assess the pain levels being experienced by their patients, according to researchers with the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

The research team has been a developing a system that uses a combination of facial recognition technology and artificial intelligence to monitor the pain levels as expressed through patients’ facial expressions. While pain has always proven difficult to measure accurately, this system could prove especially helpful in analyzing individuals who have difficulty with self-reporting – such as children – and could also help to eliminate bias from such evaluations.

The researchers used their system to analyze 50 kids who had undergone laparoscopic appendectomies, and its findings were then considered alongside input from clinicians to assess the patients’ pain levels. Compared to methods currently in use, the system was found to be “good-to-excellent” in its accuracy. Results were published in the Pediatrics journal.

It’s perhaps the first such deployment of biometric technology, though there have been similar applications. For example, a comedy club in Spain has used a facial analytics system to scan audience laughter. These cases help to illustrate the enormous potential of facial recognition biometrics beyond its traditional security and authentication applications.

Source: Discovery News

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