The Internet of Things (IoT) in pain assessment and management: An overview
Argüello Prada, Erick Javier
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Potential benefits and risks of the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the healthcare domain have already been analyzed. Nevertheless, the role that IoT has played to date regarding the assessment or management of pain remains unexamined. The present study aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive review of the application of the IoT in pain assessment and management. A literature search (2000–2018) was conducted in five electronic databases pertaining to medical and engineering literature, in order to cover both technological and clinical aspects of the research topic. Article selection was done through a process of removing duplicates and excluding articles that did not meet the inclusion criteria. After reviewing the full text of the remaining articles, only sixteen publications were included for analysis. All the selected studies describe the use of one or more IoT-enabling technologies for pain assessment, but only a few illustrate the implementation of such technologies for pain management. Moreover, IoT-enabling technologies have been mostly used in isolation rather than combined under the IoT philosophy, and barriers impeding the adoption of IoT-based solutions for pain assessment and/management include the difficulties involved in pain assessment itself and the lack of a pain assessment culture, as well as security and privacy issues. Further development of this field depends on effective collaboration between engineers and healthcare providers.