PainChek (ASX:PCK) says it has received regulatory approval to market the next generation of its pain-detecting smartphone app in Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The company has received CE Mark clearance in Europe and Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia for its “universal” app, which now includes the Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) for documenting a patient’s self-reported pain.

Like the previous app, this version also uses a smartphone’s video camera and machine learning to assess pain in the faces of those who cannot verbalise it, such as those with dementia. The app is licensed to healthcare and aged care facilities.

“Historically, PainChek and NRS have been separate pain assessment processes in terms of function and documentation, as we initially developed PainChek to be used in situations where patients could not reliably verbalise their pain,” said PainChek chief executive Philip Daffas.

“We have now improved the process by incorporating the NRS into the PainChek app, combining the benefits of the two pain scales into one universal pain assessment and management solution.”

This allows the app to be used across all patients, including those who can self-report their pain and those who are fluctuating between verbal and non-verbal communication.

PainChek said it would roll out the universal app in Australia and the UK next month before moving on to mainland Europe and other overseas markets.