The PainChek Ltd (ASX: PCK) share price is dropping lower on Friday morning following the release of an announcement.
In morning trade the healthcare technology company's shares are down 3% to 9.2 cents.
What did PainChek announce?
Investors have been selling PainChek's shares despite it announcing a partnership with Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) and Edith Cowan University (ECU) for a research project.
According to the release, the research project will investigate ways of minimising or stopping the progression of frailty in hospital patients. It is expected that better pain management is key to achieving these outcomes.
This bodes well for PainChek, given that it has developed a smartphone-based pain assessment and monitoring application.
Management notes that this project marks the first commercial agreement with a hospital organisation entered into by PainChek.
And while the revenue associated with the project is not material, it feels it provides significant validation for its technology. It also allows the company to form a partnership with one of Australia's leading hospital and health service providers.
"An important step."
PainChek's CEO, Philip Daffas, was very pleased with the partnership and sees it as an important step for the company.
He commented: "Bringing PainChek into the local and global hospital market has been a longstanding goal of the company, and this marks an important step toward that goal. We expect that a successful outcome from this research will provide for excellent opportunities with groups such as Ramsay and provides us a high-quality case study we can demonstrate with other potential customers."
What is the project?
This project will examine how a nurse led volunteer program and better pain management could help improve outcomes for hospital patients who are frail.
The company notes that the evidence to support the association between pain and frailty continues to grow. Pain prevalence increases with increased age and so too does frailty.
As persistent pain can lead to functional disability, depression, or social isolation, it has been suggested that the burden of pain leaves older adults less capable to compensate. This increases the likelihood of frailty.
A consortium of 12 researchers from five Australian universities is investigating different ways of minimising or stopping the progression of frailty in hospital patients. This is through volunteer support interventions and optimal pain management facilitated by better pain assessment through the use of PainChek.