My Pain Coach: A Mobile System with Tangible Interface for Pain Assessment

  • Maurizio CaonEmail author
  • Leonardo Angelini
  • Katharina Ledermann
  • Chantal Martin-Sölch
  • Omar Abou Khaled
  • Elena Mugellini
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


Pain assessment is an essential first step in planning for and providing pain management. Access to effective pain management programs is often limited, due to scarcity of services. Other barriers to treatment include physical symptoms that limit mobility, distance from a clinic, transportation requirements and cost constraints. In response to these barriers to service delivery, the demand for online health resources is growing. However, current solutions present a number of shortcomings, in particular when referring to usability and accessibility. This paper presents the vision of the My Pain Coach system and the first prototype generated as the result of the first iteration of the development process. This prototype is based on a smartphone app and presents two different interfaces: a force-sensitive touchscreen, and a tangible interface based on a textile mat. A preliminary usability evaluation has been conducted and the results show that these interfaces are perceived as excellent from a usability point of view. Nevertheless, further development and testing are still required for the tangible interface.


Pain assessment Pain management Tangible interaction Mobile app 



The authors want to thank Andrea Della Porta for his valuable contribution to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western SwitzerlandFribourgSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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