Living with chronic pain used to be a condition people had to cope with. Now an online clinic is offering a holistic approach to put an end to persistent pain. In an exclusive interview Eric Bystrom of Cellen tells Health Tech World that putting an end to pain is within striking reach.
Patients can wait for years to get a diagnosis for persistent pain, and even then the treatment can have limited success.
An online clinic looks set to change the way patients living with pain are treated, and offers a much quicker way of getting to the heart of the problem.
It’s estimated that 28 million people worldwide live with chronic pain.
“We’re on a journey to disrupt the pain management world,” said Eric, co-founder and chief executive officer of Cellen, in an exclusive interview from Sweden.
“We offer patients a full digital clinic to treat chronic pain, and we use a team of specialists from multi disciplines for form around the patient,” he said.
The Leva Clinic, launched last year is the first UK Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered online clinic for chronic pain.
“We use a pain specialist, a nurse, physiotherapist, psychotherapist and come up with a plan tailored to the patient.
“We know that sometimes patients have a long waiting list to be seen and the pathways can be cumbersome.
“We’ve created a clinic where the patient can be heard, where they can share experiences, offer peer support and create a community.
He said there had been a rise in patients seeking help to deal with muscular pain as a result of Long Covid.
“Many people seek help for chronic back pain but interestingly we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries – long Covid and people working remotely in different ways has led to an increase.
“Lots of people who deal with persistent pain sometimes feel like they have to give up. That no one is listening. Maybe that people in the clinical world don’t take their symptoms seriously and they’ve lost hope.
“Chronic pain can be very costly for society and can mean that people can’t work or stop working prematurely.
“Our big challenge is trying to break that mold and reach those patients and win their trust about their treatment and dealing with the problem.
They took part in a trial last year with a London-based NHS Trust to support adults access a multi-disciplinary team of clinical psychologists, doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.
Dr Benjamin Viaris de Lesegno, manager of the Leva Clinic, said: “We have seen huge pressure on chronic pain services in the NHS due to COVID-19, and it only looks to be getting worse with new lockdown restrictions.”
“Fifty per cent of chronic pain sufferers in Europe have to wait at least 2 years before their pain is adequately managed and we are proud to be able to provide a centralised online service for patients on the NHS waiting lists that will decrease that timescale.”
“It signifies huge progress in digital transformation for UK healthcare, as this is the first time a registered chronic pain clinic has been completely online.
“Online care has been essential for supporting GPs during COVID-19, and our aim is to ensure Leva Clinic can enable patients from all over the UK to have the same tailored experience within pain services.”