Revolutionary new app 'dispenses music as medicine' to reduce anxiety and pain

Patients around the world could soon be prescribed soothing music chosen by artificial intelligence to ease their anxiety and pain, following the trial of a health tech app on dementia patients.

Nurse Sheleen Armstrong, 39, a sister working as part of the critical care outreach team, trialling MediMusic.

The Hull-based health tech start-up MediMusic has created an app and a streaming device called the MediBeat that dispenses personalised playlists to reduce anxiety and pain in patients using a ‘digital drip’ to administer the most calming music.

It’s hoped that it could revolutionise the treatment of dementia and improve motor response as part of a physical rehabilitation programme.

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Initial clinical NHS trials at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, found the use of MediMusic saw an up to 22 per cent reduction in heart rate in patients with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The MediMusic app analyses the patient’s age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity and based on sociological and psychological science, it then compiles in seconds the perfect 20-minute playlist of soothing music to calm them.

Dr Jacqueline Twamley, academic research and innovation manager at the Centre for Health Research and Innovation at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The results have been very impressive. We believe that dispensing music as medicine could revolutionise the treatment of dementia and other similar neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s.”

“The initial findings are so positive that we’re now looking at how it can help ease anxiety and stress in doctors and nurses working in critical care on the frontline of caring for Covid patients.

“A lot of critical care staff are keen to participate in the MediMusic trial. They have been under significant pressure over the last year dealing with successive waves of Covid."

Gary Jones, CEO and co-founder of MediMusic, said: “We’ve always felt the music can soothe our soul but now we have compelling evidence that it can help our mind and body too.

“With MediMusic, we’ve managed to digitally fingerprint the DNA of music so we can prescribe the right type of music as medicine.”

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