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FROM the following website:
“Melomics is a research project partially funded by the Health Program of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Innovation. Its goal is to develop effective, high-tech mHealth tools to help self-manage a wide number of conditions. Designed for 21st century music therapy, this complex technology is ready to be put to work after four years of development and testing.
Empathetic Music Therapy (eMT) uses an artificial musician to play music according to the evolution of a listener’s physiological state. Monitoring and feedback are done by a smartphone, connected to AI algorithms in the cloud, and music is streamed depending on how the listener feels.
Chronic pain, which affects 100 million people in the US alone, is associated with a large number of conditions. And, an estimated 20% of American adults report that pain or physical discomfort disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more. Our goal of creating effective, inexpensive ways to manage pain through music aligns with the Declaration of Montreal, which proposed pain relief as a fundamental human right. With the cooperation of the American Chronic Pain Association, we intend to involve thousands of people in a massive ambulatory clinical trial that will test the efficacy of eMT in the self-management of chronic pain. Music will be provided via a mobile app, oriented to pain management that is performed at home. (The Android version of this app can be downloaded from here.)
Music content has been designed by music psychologists, according to recommendations in medical literature, composed by a supercomputer, and supervised by musicians. The goal is to make it functionally optimal (distracting and relaxing as appropriate), and adapted to the music preferences of most users.
Below are the main parameters of the trial to manage sleep and reduce pain perception:
BACKGROUND: The positive effects of music therapy in lessening chronic pain have been widely reported in the literature. However, there are no tools for people to easily and effectively manage their pain on a daily basis. Our recent research has resulted in mHealth technology for providing music therapy in an interactive way using the smartphone as an input gathering device to estimate the patient’s physiological state and deliver music that positively affects that state in real time.
AIM: Evaluate the efficacy of an empathetic music therapy service as a cognitive, active strategy for chronic pain self-management. The trial is intended to cover a wide sample of subjects worldwide experiencing conditions related to chronic pain.
START DATE: By September 19th, 2013.
DURATION: Until data is collected from a minimum of 1,000 users, for a period of 14 days. (The app will be Open Access afterwards, for any participant who completes the trial.)
METHODS: An application for Android mobile devices will be used as delivery mechanism of the music therapy service. The user will log in on her own smartphone using a unique identifying code. The user will start by supplying basic medical and personal data. The app will have operating instructions and will collect usage data. The experiment will be carried out on an ambulatory basis – usage will take place without the supervision of specialized personnel, meaning that the conditions surrounding the patient during the experiment are without control in a clinical sense. To improve overall statistical significance we will try to maximize the sample size. The objective is to recruit a minimum of 1,000 subjects. At night the mobile app will detect the subject’s movements while in bed, estimating the state of consciousness by actigraphy, and play the appropriate music in order to increase relaxation that leads to sleep. During the day, the app will receive the feedback of the patient’s subjective perception of pain (the visual numeric scale for pain will be used), modulating music to induce distraction or relaxation, depending on the input.
Two hypotheses will be tested:
1. eMT improves the quality of sleep in subjects with chronic pain, and this correlates with reduced pain perception.
2. eMT reduces the perception of pain when applied interactively: subjects will report through the app with respect to the subjective level of pain perceived, and the music will adjust accordingly and in real time.
 Institute of Medicine Report from the Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education: Relieving Pain in America, A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research. The National Academies Press, 2011.
 National Sleep Foundation (http://www.sleepfoundation.org). Sleep in America poll. 2000.
 Ritter PL, et al. (2006) Measurement of pain using the visual numeric scale. J Rheumatol. 33(3):574-80.”