innex EN
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innex EN

Pain nursing in 2029

In June 2022, the NEXT future intelligence methodology was applied experimentally for the first time. A group of nurses from the COIB has proposed scenarios for innovation in pain management. The micro-research carried out has made it possible to open a temporary window in 2029 to imagine in a reasoned way how the pain of patients will be measured and how it will be managed.

The ability to anticipate what might happen in the future is becoming a key strategic leadership skill, and organizations need people who are forward-looking, confident, and act accordingly; without the ability to visualize the future it is very difficult, if not impossible, to engage in innovation. The application of future intelligence, long the preserve of government think tanks or large multinationals, has been democratized thanks in part to digital technologies. Not only can medium-sized companies and organizations carry out future studies tailored to their needs, but small teams of professionals can also practice future intelligence.

One of the most expensive diseases.

Adequate pain management is an imperative and universal requirement in healthcare, but despite advances, the adverse physiological and psychological implications of unmanaged pain remain unaddressed. Poorly managed pain affects the quality of life and limits functional abilities, resulting in increased demand for care. Beyond the physical, emotional, and social costs, chronic pain is a public health problem with an economic impact that may exceed those of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined, and may account for 2–3% of GDP. Overall moderate to severe chronic pain among adults worldwide can be around 20% and is a cause of morbidity: stroke, depression, and immune disorders among others. There has been a shift from the simplistic view of pain as a symptom to a more sophisticated understanding of pain as a disease. Pain is not just an unfortunate consequence of another pathology; pain is the pathology, and its management must be as comprehensive, coordinated, and personalized as in hypertension, diabetes, or cancer.

Innovations in pain management

The next few years will see significant advances in the field of pain, and the expertise of nurses, who spend a lot of time with patients, can play a key role in getting innovations right as quickly as possible. The three scenarios created are presented simulating interventions at a pain congress taking place in June 2029.

  • ALICE. Measurement of surgical pain
  • PUP. A playful approach to pediatric oncological pain
  • FIDO. End-of-life management system



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Josep Monguet Fierro

Josep Monguet Fierro

Professor at the UPC. Founder of “Onsanity” and “innex”. Experience in digital healthcare innovation. Research coordinator of “Master Barcelona Design” UPC-UB.