Artificial intelligence (AI) used in machine learning models can predict which patients are at highest risk for severe pain after surgery, and help determine who would most benefit from personalised pain management plans that use non-opioid alternatives, suggests new research. The research was presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2020 annual meeting. Some patients experience more severe pain after surgery and need higher doses of opioids for longer periods of time, which increases their risk for opioid abuse disorder. By knowing which patients are at higher risk for severe post-surgical pain, physician anesthesiologists can create an anesthesia plan using non-opioid alternatives – such as nerve blocks, epidurals and other medications – to more effectively address pain and reduce the need for opioids. “We plan to integrate the models with our electronic medical records to provide a prediction of post-surgical pain for each patient,” said Mieke A. Soens, M.D., lead author of the study and an anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and anesthesiology instructor at Harvard Medical School, Boston.