Time for a new pain-relieving algorithm?
Millions of Americans thankfully maintain reduced pain through on-going interventions.
Guideline and protocols frequently limit the try something different escalation of interventions. Billions of dollars spent on managing chronic pain each year (= the U.S military budget), haven’t led to a way to end it.
What happens to the people who do not respond as expected?
Did Silicon Valley thinking partially break the treatment-resistant pain barrier?
As scientists and computer engineers, the current emphasis on “managing” pain didn’t make sense.
We wondered, how can pain ever end while interventions must remain active in the body to manage pain relief?
Maybe we should invent a new algorithm to address that problem?
How would a new algorithm work?
It would flexibly:
· Apply the latest measuring, computing, and AI technologies (quantum computing?) to terminate pain
· Provide the operator with actionable feedback - Did it work?
· Converge on improving innate functions that continue after therapy ends. - Homeostasis?
The aim is simple. Prompt the body to return to normal. With normal returned, there are fewer reasons of pain.
Inputs, feedback, and outcomes?
PhotoMed’s algorithms adjust therapy to meet individual needs despite lack of previous beneficial outcomes. The algorithms employ iterative strategies that run 1000x faster than traditional escalation guidelines. The algorithm shares methods that are basic to many industries:
Identify problems: treatment-resistant pain and loss of normal functions
Test inputs: algorithmic adjustment of light wavelengths from PhotoMed’s device
Observe responses: a physiologic response confirms effects within 60 seconds
Measure outcomes: return of normal function - bug fixed?
Stop or iterate: if needed, test a different input.
You may be wondering, is it possible to return to normal function? No, about 2/3s of cases. We don’t know why.
The good news about the bad news is that, other than disappointment, there have been no side effects for hundreds of people.
The really good news is that 1/3 is a whole lot better than zero for people who previously endured treatment-resistant pain. Like everything in medicine, some achieve less surprising outcomes.
How does it work in real-world people?
PhotoMed’s algorithm was developed for real-world people with a low probability of success. The team welcomed people whom they thought would test the boundaries of the disorders that might respond. They were puzzled by outcomes that are not predicted in textbooks on pain or neuroscience. Then they recognized that “managing” pain doesn’t end it.
People with painfully cold hands suggested a model for the Silicon Valley to test:
What happens when your plunge your hand into ice water?
What happens when you take it out?
What if any of the noxious experiences got stuck?
The ice water thought model let’s you experience the “symptoms” of myriad disorders. The symptoms and signs of disorders distill to innate sensory, motor, and skin temperature impairments. The algorithm is that basic.
Roger (not his real name) had uncomfortably cold hands for 30 years. His co-workers complained when he upped the thermostat - in summer. After warming during 3 visits, he did not need to turn up the heat. This is what we mean by the return to normal function.
Problem: Many chronic disorders includes persistent abnormal skin temperatures
Input: The operator algorithmically selects the first treatment
Feedback: Warming acknowledges that the therapy worked
Outcome: Therapy can be stopped for the visit and may no longer be needed.
Lighter gray is warmer.
Automatically recorded data enables later examination by humans or AI.
Is the warming response normal, except for its years of delay?
Why welcome hopeless cases?
Operators of PhotoMed’s new algorithm see things differently (like Schrödinger’s cat). See Example 1.
Most people do not have chronic pain.
Why does the body remain so long in an impaired state?
The different thinking leads down paths ignored by billions of research dollars. Testing aimed to learn which disorders might respond to the new algorithm. With no hypothesis, it was exciting like finding dinosaur bones before the first skeleton emerged. Today, the algorithm opens the possibility to reduce pain and impairment previously thought impossible.
PhotoMed Technologies’ team developed its Instant Feedback System™ for practitioners to prompt, observe, and collect details in Silicon Valley style.
PhotoMed’s algorithm lets computers, big data, and AI connect the dots among treatments, responses, and outcomes.
Feedback responses, if any, typically become measurable during or within 60 seconds after a therapy treatment ends.