MountainStar Health - October 02, 2019

“It’s like traveling to a different world! It totally took my mind off reality. It’s a great new tool for pain management.” That’s how Brad Young describes an innovative technology that helps patients reduce anxiety before a medical procedure – and effectively control pain afterwards.

Dr. Michael Glover, spine surgeon, performed a laminectomy for lumbar decompression on Brad at West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell, Idaho. Although it’s a somewhat invasive surgery, the 35-year-old was concerned about using opioids during recovery.

“I know a lot about the risks of using opioids because my stepdad is a retired emergency medicine specialist,” explained Brad. “That’s one of the reasons why I agreed to give a new technology a try – before and after my surgery.”

Pay no attention to that anxiety and pain

As he was prepared for the surgery, a volunteer at the hospital introduced Brad to AccendoWave. This new technology takes a diversionary approach to reducing stress and pain levels. It has proven to effectively decrease or eliminate the need for medications following a surgical procedure.

“The volunteer was a very bright person and very informed about the technology,” Brad said. “The details she provided gave me confidence that it would help to control my anxiety as I waited for the surgery and keep my mind off the pain afterwards.”

The technology features a tablet computer loaded with games, music and videos. As patients interact with the entertainment, a headband reads their brainwaves to identify content that is the most engaging. Then the tablet presents more of that type of content, which distracts and relaxes the patient.

“The technology ‘learned’ what type of content kept me engaged by measuring my brainwaves with a headband,” explained Brad. “It kept me entertained, which prevented me from worrying before the surgery and made me much less conscious of the pain afterwards.”

Diversionary technology proved effective

Brad took advantage of the technology before his surgery and for about 5-6 hours during his overnight stay. It was so effective that he continued to use the diversionary technique at home with his cell phone and other options for entertainment.

“It helped me to use less medication after the surgery, which was important because I didn’t want to become addicted to them,” Brad noted. “I really liked having an alternative to medication.”

Engaging with the technology was interesting and helpful for Brad. It improved his hospital experience, as did every care provider he encountered during his stay.

“It was very positive overall – seamless from check-in to discharge,” said Brad. “Everyone was on top of it. The surgeon was fantastic, and the nurses were great!

Now he tells people in the community that they can expect concierge-level service at West Valley Medical Center. Further, he highly recommends the diversionary technology as a way to enhance the surgery recovery experience.

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