The Science

The theory behind PainDrainer

PainDrainer is based on well established clinical practice for the managment of chronic pain, used in leading pain clinics today. By using artificial intelligence (AI), PainDrainer makes this practice available digitally.

Trials and clinical evidence

PainDrainer’s first clinical trial, conducted at University of California San Diego Health, shows a significant increase in quality of life and a decrease in pain levels in chronic pain patients after around 6 weeks of use.

Scientific literature

PainDrainer is based on science and well-established clinical practice. Here you can learn more about the scientific foundation of PainDrainer.




Living with chronic pain can make every day a challenge. Therefore, self-management is an important part of effective pain management.

The term refers to your ability to handle your own life situation. Today, there is clear evidence of how important this ability is in reducing pain interference and pain intensity. Self-management gives you more control over your life situation, strengthens your mental health and increases the health-related quality of life.

Self-management can be trained with effective tools and gives you confidence in your ability to handle your pain.

The first step is to understand how long-term pain differs from acute pain. It is also important to understand what is affecting your situation positively or negatively.

PainDrainer is a self-management tool that helps you understand which daily activities affect your pain level, and how. This will help you to control the level of pain and thus increase the quality of life.

are you living a value-based life?

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

PainDrainer is based on self-management and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The goal of ACT is to live a value-based life, where we have the time and energy to perform activities that have a high value for us.

For many living with chronic pain, the energy does not last for what is of high value in our lives.

Pain management through ACT is today the leading form of rehabilitation. The pain rehabilitation programs help the individual to examine how they relate to their pain and to what is important in life for that specific person. In the program, the focus is primarily on how the pain is managed. It is about how you relate to your pain and what you think is important in life, rather than how bad it hurts.

ACT shifts the focus to living a life with better functioning and quality of life instead of focusing on reducing pain and discomfort.

PainDrainer gives you individual suggestions and helps you plan your day based on your own goals so that you have energy for what is important to you.



Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Your daily activities can affect your pain level. If you understand how your activities or combinations of activities affect our pain, you will be in control. With the support from PainDrainer you get the opportunity to prioritize activities that are valuable for you, plan your time and find the right balance.

The challenge is that during a day, there are so many factors impacting your pain level, that it is hard to keep track of them. Factors such as how long an activity lasted, how you experienced it or how intensely you performed it, can affect your pain level by the end of the day.

PainDrainer manages 19 different parameters and uses advanced calculations based on artificial intelligence (AI-engine) to analyze how an activity, or combination of activities affect your pain level. The AI-engine is trained on your data only, which means that you will receive individual suggestions from PainDrainer on what activities you can do without exceeding a certain level of pain. You can also define what activities you plan to do and see what level of pain they are expected to cause.

PainDrainer helps and guides you throughout the day. This will help you save energy for those activities that have a high value to you.

Watch how the artificial intelligence in PainDrainer works

Trials and clinical evidence

Leading hospitals and pain management specialists in Scandinavia and in the US have contributed to the development of PainDrainer. To verify the effect of using PainDrainer, we continuously conduct clinical studies in both Sweden and in the United States.

The first clinical study conducted at University of California San Diego Health is now completed with very positive results. The scientific poster concludes that:

  • PainDrainer is the first truly patient-centric device, since it is powered by artificial intelligence, adapting to the needs of each individual patient.
  • PainDrainer achieved a clinically significant improvement in quality of life and reduction in pain intensity in chronic pain patients.
  • PainDrainer allowed chronic pain patients to better manage the relation between daily ac­tivities and their pain.

Read the scientific poster here and the press release here.

The purpose of the clinical studies is to generate clinical data of value for chronic pain patients. Primarily we want to see how effective PainDrainer is in increasing quality of life and reducing pain intensity, but we also study safety, user-friendliness and patient satisfaction. Furthermore, we have an ambition that the generated data will contribute to continued research on chronic pain and chronic pain treatment.

All trials are designed in accordance with international and local laws, rules and ethical principles. They are reviewed and approved by independent ethics committees and relevant authorities.

Leading hospitals participated in the development and are now conducting clinical studies

Scientific literature

Are you interested in taking part of the science behind PainDrainer? Here is a sample of scientific articals about the science that PainDrainer is based upon.

Scientific literature

Alexander, J. C., & Joshi, G. P. (2016). Smartphone applications for chronic pain management: a critical appraisal. J Pain Res, 9, 731-734.

Bhattarai, P. ,et al., (2019). Feasibility evaluation of a pain self-management app-based intervention among older people living with arthritic pain: study protocol. Pilot Feasibility Stud, 5, 57.

Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). September 14, 2018 / 67(36);1001–1006.

Devan, H., et al., (2019). Evaluation of Self-Management Support Functions in Apps for People With Persistent Pain: Systematic Review. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 7(2), e13080.

Devan, H., et al., (2018). What Works and Does Not Work in a Self-Management Intervention for People With Chronic Pain? Qualitative Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis. Phys Ther, 98(5), 381-397. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzy029 

Du, S., et al., (2017). Self-management program for chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Patient Educ Couns, 100(1), 37-49. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.07.029 

Duggan, G. B., et al., (2015). Qualitative evaluation of the SMART2 self-management system for people in chronic pain. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol, 10(1), 53-60. doi:10.3109/17483107.2013.845696

Elbers, S., et al., (2018). The effectiveness of generic self-management interventions for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain on physical function, self-efficacy, pain intensity and physical activity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Pain, 22(9), 1577-1596. doi:10.1002/ejp.1253 

Huber, S., et al., (2017). Treatment of Low Back Pain with a Digital Multidisciplinary Pain Treatment App: Short-Term Results. JMIR Rehabil Assist Technol, 4(2),



Jackson. (2014). Self-Efficacy and Chronic Pain Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review.  

Lancaster, K., et al., (2018). The Use and Effects of Electronic Health Tools for Patient Self-Monitoring and Reporting of Outcomes Following Medication Use: Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res, 20(12), e294. doi:10.2196/jmir.9284 

Lo, W. et al., (2018). The Perceived Benefits of an Artificial Intelligence-Embedded Mobile App Implementing Evidence-Based Guidelines for the Self-Management of Chronic Neck and Back Pain: Observational Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, 6(11),

Mills, S. E. E., et al.,(2019). Chronic pain: a review of its epidemiology and associated factors in population-based studies. Br J Anaesth, 123(2), e273-e283. doi:10.1016/j.bja.2019.03.023 

NICE, N. I. f. H. a. C. E. s. (2018). Guideline scope, Chronic pain: assessment and management. NICE Guideline. Retrieved from 

Ranney, M. L., Duarte, C., Baird, J., Patry, E. J., & Green, T. C. (2016). Correlation of digital health use and chronic pain coping strategies. Mhealth, 2, 35.

Scott, I. A. et al., (2018). Going digital: a narrative overview of the effects, quality and utility of mobile apps in chronic disease self-management. Aust Health Rev.

Slattery, B. W., et al., (2019). An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Modalities Used to Deliver Electronic Health Interventions for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review With Network Meta-Analysis. J Med Internet Res, 21(7),

Treede, R. D., et al., (2019). Chronic pain as a symptom or a disease: the IASP Classification of Chronic Pain for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Pain, 160(1), 19-27.

Keefe, F. J., et al., (2004). Psychological aspects of persistent pain: current state of the science. J Pain, 5(4), 195-211.

Keefe, F. J., et al., (2008). Psychologic interventions and lifestyle modifications for arthritis pain management. Rheum Dis Clin North Am, 34(2), 351-368.





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