Hospital for Sick Children: Pain Squad -- Best of 2012 IX #4

A new way to record pain.

Published on May 02, 2012

Editor's Pick

An innovative app from Cundari for the Hospital for Sick Kids (commonly known as SickKids) in Toronto is trying to change the way kids record their pain -- and might be changing the face of cancer treatment. For its creative problem solving, it lands at No. 4 on our Best of 2012 countdown in the integrated and interactive category.

Figuring out what kind of pain the patient is in is an important step in the treatment process. But after chemotherapy and radiation treatments, kids are too tired to keep a detailed pain journal.

The Pain Squad mobile app makes the process easy and kid-friendly. Kids were given iPhones with the app, which recruits kids into a 'pain squad,' a special force dedicated to hunting down pain. It lets the kids enter in what hurt, when, and which medications seemed to be working.

And to get kids even more pumped, the agency went all out, bringing in familiar faces from Canadian police dramas like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint to offer words of encouragement. There was even a 'graduation structure' put in place that let kids complete certain stages and get 'promoted.'

It's an inspiring and hugely innovative way that could revolutionize the nature of patient-controlled documentation in cancer research. It is now set to roll out over four other hospitals in Canada.

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May 02, 2012
Brent Choi
Hospital for Sick Children
Associate CD/Writer:
Cory Eisentraut
Associate CD/AD:
Mike Sipley
Project Manager:
Mike Orr
Ali Asim
Patrick Lee
Carol-Anne Granatstein
Cherie O'Connor
Stuart Thom
Kawal Singh
Rob Dutchin

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