PainChek (ASX:PCK) bringing a change to pain management


by Jessica Amir

PainChek Limited (ASX:PCK) Managing Director and CEO, Philip Daffas discusses the company's PainChek facial recognition pain app, its licencing model, and its use by an increasing number of Australian Residential Aged Care facilities.

Jessica Amir: Hello, I'm Jessica Amir for the Finance News Network. With me today from PainChek (ASX:PCK) is CEO and Managing Director, Philip Daffas.

Philip, thanks for coming and welcome back.

Philip Daffas: Pleasure to be here again, Jess.

Jessica Amir: So first up Philip, PainChek (ASX:PCK) has developed the world's first smartphone pain assessment and monitoring app, but where's the company at today?

Philip Daffas: Well, Jess, the company's progressed really positively in the last year. A year ago we completed our clinical studies. We completed the approval process for both the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) in Australia and CE Mark in Europe, as a class one medical device. We've formed a small but very effective team to commerce as a product in Australia early this year. We've now got 21 residential aged care groups using the app on a daily basis. Covering more than 1500 beds in residential aged care, and more than 6,000 pain assessments, clinical pain assessments have been conducted this calendar year.

Jessica Amir: Great. Now can you tell us a little bit more about the app's adoption?

Philip Daffas: Well the app's adoption has been very positive in the aged care sector. The reasons for that actually, there's probably three key drivers. This is the feedback we've got from our clients. The number one, it assesses pain when pain isn't obvious with their residents. Secondly, it identifies the level of pain, or severity of pain. Whether it's mild, moderate, or severe when the pain is obvious. Thirdly, it monitors the effectiveness of the intervention. So if they make a treatment, then they can come back and reassess, and therefore work out whether the pain, pain assess, or the pain is diminishing or increasing.

So that's really the sort of the real value that people are seeing on this in aged care and that's the reason why it's picking up in practice and in use.

Jessica Amir: You've spoken about aged care, but big picture what's your target market Phillip?

Philip Daffas: Well our target market is also to go into the home care. Most of the people with dementia actually live in the home and are managed by families. So we start off with the residential aged care groups, who've also got home care operators. Those home care operators go into the home to manage patients, and then we can also provide the access to the app for people living at home, family members, to use it and assess their loved ones in the home environment.

Jessica Amir: So Phillip that leads to your Shared Care program.

Philip Daffas: Correct. Just this month we've launched Shared Care, and the purpose of Shared Care is to ensure the health care professional when they visit a family member in the home to asses them for pain, they can do the assessments at home, and then they can also encourage the family members to carry on using the app, and record pain levels while at the same time transmitting that information back to the health care professional. So they have a seamless integration of pain managements. This we believe will actually help further improve health care outcome for people at home, and also reduce health care costs.

Jessica Amir: Thanks Phillip. Now to an update on your finances. Can you start off by telling us about sales?

Philip Daffas: Yes, well initial sales for the enterprise app has gone into residential aged care, so as I said before we've got 21 residential care units using it today. More than 1500 beds, these are all on subscription licenses. So these are annual licenses, and more than 6000 pain assessments. So we've gone from 50 beds to 1500 beds in a matter of three months, and we've got a great sales trajectory going forwards.

Jessica Amir: Nice, and how does that flow through to your share price?

Philip Daffas: Share price is roughly about five cents today, we've got about AUD$50 million dollar market capitalisation. We've been pretty steady for the past few months, which is more reflective I think of the markets. But our shareholder base is fantastic, they've been very supportive, and they're very loyal to us. We believe now is a very good buying time for people to buy into PainChek (ASX:PCK).

Jessica Amir: Phillip what can you tell us about your strategy and how that's progressing?

Philip Daffas: Well the consumer strategy starts off with Shared Care as just talked about. So in Australia we're going to go direct to the consumer next. Then internationally I've already been to the U.K. recently, and Singapore, so we've got clear market entry strategies into Singapore and the U.K.. We've got a presence now in New Zealand, where we're going to start very soon. Next year really is about Europe, so 2019 is Europe, for the dementia app. 2020 will be the United States as we get FDA clearance.

Jessica Amir: Lastly Phillip can you tell us about your other products in the pipeline?

Philip Daffas: Yes, we're also developing as you know, the kids' app. The kids' app now is now completed, and ready for clinical trials. To go back and explain there are 400 million children between the age of zero to three who are preverbal, and therefore cannot communicate effectively why they're crying. So for parents if the kids crying during the middle of the night, they can make an assessment to work out whether the cry is actually a pain cry, or a non pain cry. Again, this will help relieve parents' concern on their child, and also help reduce health care costs. We're about to actually start a clinical trial in Australia, we'll announce that when it's ready. But that trial should take us through to early next year, and then we see the kids' app being registered with TGA and C Mark by the second quarter of next year.

Jessica Amir: Wonderful. We're looking forward to seeing the results, and following the companies' growth. Phillip Daffas, thank you so much.

Philip Daffas: Thank you.


Jessica Amir

Finance News Network
Jessica joined FNN in January 2017 after having worked in financial advising for seven years and in TV journalism for seven years, specialising in finance, equities and analysis. She has interviewed former Prime Ministers of Australia, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd and ex Treasurer Jo Hockey. Jessica has worked as a journalist with Sky News Business, ABC 1, ABC's The Business, ABC24 and has also been a regional Channel 7 and 9 TV reporter.