I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 12 Aug 2023 - 18 Aug 2023


Human Studies, Medical Devices, Neurobiology, Neuromodulation

Musculoskeletal Pain, Neuropathic Pain

2023 Aug 15

NPJ Digit Med




Objective wearable measures correlate with self-reported chronic pain levels in people with spinal cord stimulation systems.


Patterson DG, Wilson D, Fishman MA, Moore G, Skaribas I, Heros R, Dehghan S, Ross E, Kyani A


Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a well-established therapy for treating chronic pain. However, perceived treatment response to SCS therapy may vary among people with chronic pain due to diverse needs and backgrounds. Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) from standard survey questions do not provide the full picture of what has happened to a patient since their last visit, and digital PROs require patients to visit an app or otherwise regularly engage with software. This study aims to assess the feasibility of using digital biomarkers collected from wearables during SCS treatment to predict pain and PRO outcomes. Twenty participants with chronic pain were recruited and implanted with SCS. During the six months of the study, activity and physiological metrics were collected and data from 15 participants was used to develop a machine learning pipeline to objectively predict pain levels and categories of PRO measures. The model reached an accuracy of 0.768 ± 0.012 in predicting the pain intensity of mild, moderate, and severe. Feature importance analysis showed that digital biomarkers from the smartwatch such as heart rate, heart rate variability, step count, and stand time can contribute to modeling different aspects of pain. The results of the study suggest that wearable biomarkers can be used to predict therapy outcomes in people with chronic pain, enabling continuous, real-time monitoring of patients during the use of implanted therapies.