|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 185
Use of smartphone application WhatsApp messenger in pain medicine
Shiv Pratap Singh Rana1, Sangeeta Singh2
1 Department of Neuroanaesthesia and Pain Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fortis Hospital, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Date of Web Publication||21-Sep-2015|
Dr. Shiv Pratap Singh Rana
Flat 33, BPCL Apartment, Plot B-9/5, Sector 62, Noida - 201 301, Uttar Pradesh
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Use of Smart phone application in medical field is a novel concept and has been documented since long. Physicians, patients and their family has been found to be involved with these applications and they use emails, short message service (sms), and multimedia message service (mms) as a mode of communication with each other. This telephonic conversation helps in sharing information about the status of pain and other symptoms, initiation and continuing medical or surgical treatment, and post procedure follow up. It also helps the patient in cutting off the waiting time for consultation. At our centre, we are regularly using whatsApp application for making plans for patients with chronic pain.
Keywords: WhatsApp, Pain Medicine, Smart Phone
|How to cite this article:|
Singh Rana SP, Singh S. Use of smartphone application WhatsApp messenger in pain medicine. Indian J Pain 2015;29:185
Mr B was having low back pain and left lumbar L5 radicular pain since last 2 years. Pain management team planned a Transforaminal epidural injection for him 5 days after the visit. He was staying nearly 400 kilometres from the hospital. After 5 days, the patient whatsApp us the complaint of having very severe new pain away from the previous painful area, he also sent us pictorial diagram of painful area. We asked the patient that he need to go for emergency MRI lumbar spine. His MRI showed a suspected malignancy soft tissue component around D12 vertebra. We communicated and planned his further management by communication on whatsApp.
Use of whatsApp application has decreased the unnecessary transport of the patient to hospital and is a time saving mode. In difficult situations, our colleagues are sending MRI and CT scan pictures on whatsApp and after discussing with us, plan of action is made for the best possible care of the patient. The various modes of e communications decreases unnecessary transport of patient to hospital, helps in hospitalization of patients those who really needed and reduces expenditure involved with unnecessary investigations and logistics. , Wallace et al also showed in their study that self management of chronic pain related symptoms can be done with smart phone applications.  Wiederhold proposed the potential for developing pain management programs by smart phone application a realistic hope. 
Although the validity and evidence of using these smart phones applications in pain management is lacking, but they are very helpful in decreasing unnecessary transport to hospital and reducing cost of planning unnecessary investigations.
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Wallace LS, Dhingra LK. A systematic review of smartphone applications for chronic pain available for download in the United States. J Opioid Manag 2014;10:63-8.
Wiederhold BK, Gao K, Kong L, Wiederhold MD. Mobile devices as adjunctive pain management tools. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw 2014;17:385-9.