500 million people worldwide suffer from chronic pain, including 12 million in France.
To address this global public health issue, the startup Music Care has devised a solution that “democratizes healthcare through music, to improve patients’ quality of life”, says Development Director Martin Louvel.
Music Care announced its partnership with Sanofi at the latest Viva Technology exhibition in June 2021. The connection with Sanofi has greatly facilitated uptake by general practitioners, who can now prescribe the app for patients suffering from pain, stress, and sleep disorders, in addition to standard treatments.
“Current medical care focuses primarily on managing physical symptoms, but the WHO defines health as a ‘state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’. We are doing our utmost to address emotional and psychological symptoms to provide patients with comprehensive care,” says Martin Louvel, Development Director at Music Care.
A “care composer”
The digital application features a playlist of sequences that activate neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine, which act on the emotional and psychological dimensions of pain. “These hormones create a sense of wellbeing, soothe patients, relieve pain, and reduce drug consumption,” explains Martin Louvel.
The music is chosen based on the patient’s preferences, and the initial beat is synchronized with their vital signs (heart rate, respiratory rate, etc.). It slows gradually, soothing the patient into a relaxed state using hypnoanalgesia techniques. Halfway through the cycle, the beat picks up, initiating a gradual “awakening” process. A minimum of two or three 20- to 90-minute sessions are recommended per week.
Studies have shown that pain and anxiety are reduced by more than 60% in cancer patients, anxiolytic and anti-depressant use is reduced by 48% and 43% respectively, and the incidence of perioperative complications following cataract surgery decreases by 75% – among other conclusive outcomes.
Music Care is already being used in 500 healthcare institutions in France, Belgium and Switzerland, and will soon be launched in the United States.