Pebbli – Chronic pain management

Exploring solutions for chronic pain management.

Pebbli is an exploration in designing therapeutic tools for patients with complex, chronic pain disorders. By visualizing positive aspects of a patient’s life, focus is shifted towards living with the condition instead of fighting it.

Developed in collaboration with “Smerteskolen” in Lejre Kommune, Pebbli is designed to intervene in the early stages of a pain management course to help change the focus of the patient’s thoughts to a more positive realm. These conditions involve not only pain sensations, but also severe fatigue. As medication has little to offer these patients, a change of mindset is vital in order to cope with their conditions.

Real-life research proved it counter productive to gauge incremental progress by quantifying negative aspects of the condition – what the patients truly need is to be reminded of the opposite. With Pebbli, reflection is encouraged through a ritual of recording positive everyday experiences with a smart phone and linking these to pebbles with the embedded RFID module. As positive experiences are collected, pebbles accumulate over time to create an ambient reminder of moments of appreciation in an otherwise difficult situation. These can later be browsed chronologically or serendipitously using the physical tokens.

By creating both a ritual and a physical representation of what is still maintained instead of what is lost, patients change the outlook on their own situation as the first step of self-empowerment towards living a better life despite the diagnosis.