Researchers have been able to see “pain” on a brain scan for the first time. This development indicates that in the future, we will be able to pinpoint pain and the scale of that pain more effectively.
Think of one tiny application of this technology in the future:
Case managers and doctors often have trouble determining between chronic pain and faked pain for “subjective” injuries. Is someone being a wimp? Faking it? Hate their job? Addicted to or selling the drugs? Or, are they really hurting, dysfunctional and need help to get on with life?
What if that subjective diagnosis became objective? Knowing for a fact someone really had severe pain, we could attack it and help them aggressively. Or, we know for a fact the pain really isn’t that bad and aspirin will do instead of opioids.
It is all very exciting for our industry, and for controlling healthcare costs in the future.