An Empirical Approach for Objective Pain Measurement using Dermal and Cardiac Parameters

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Abstract

As the exact pain measurement is an important prerequisite for pain management, this work aims to measure Pain objectively. As the physiological parameters have significant relationship with pain, we intend to measure ECG, HR, BP and GSR with the equal amount of pain being induced on all the subjects. For this purpose, we have designed an apparatus called Pain Inducer which consists of five discs mounted on a central slot to induce the pain. The experiments (Pre Pain, During Pain and Post pain experiments) were conducted inside the controlled laboratory environment. The parameters have been acquired and analyzed by an instrument called physiograph (RMS Polyrite-D). We have chosen 50 male volunteers of age between 20 and 22 years, for this purpose. The subjects were with normal appetite (food habits) and residing in a confined locality. It is found that both the cardiac parameters and somatic resistance showed significant changes between the ‘pain’ and ‘ no pain’ conditions. However more experimental studies with additional physiological parameters on large number of subjects in actual clinical setup are required to validate this method. Also, a generalized pain measurement system for all kinds of pain is another challenge to be addressed. Further work on this area may improve the utility of this method in clinical practices for measuring pain objectively. It leads to reduced administration of painkillers.