Philipps-University of Marburg

Philipps-University of Marburg

Business Objective

To create a device that measures the body’s response to pain through individualized cardiac-gated electrical stimulation for use with Systolic Extinction Training (S.E.T.). Which would then work in tandem with a comprehensive “elearning” program.

Technical Challenge

Mathys had limited database and programming knowledge. He needed to find a way to connect his S.E.T device to many different apps for therapists without having a way to efficiently spin up API integrations.

The Solution

DreamFactory was used to power both the device to measure and stimulate the ANS and also to create the comprehensive “elearning” program for therapists to conduct their sessions with. All within a matter of seconds.

Priority 1 - A device to measure and stimulate the ANS

  1. Manage the data flow from the device to a database .
  2. Provides a robust API powering multiple apps used by pain therapists.
  3. Protect users and development contexts with strong security and user management.

Priority 2 - Create API for an elearning course

  1. Step up to a local install on his own server from the free installation.
  2. Outsourced the native Android app development to a team of developers.
  3. Leverage the built-in role and user management to keep tight control of user data.

Streamlined systems for significant savings

Mathys has prototyped an individualized cardiac-gated electrical stimulator for use with S.E.T. The technology was designed to tackle the problem of perceived pain in the body. It works by retraining the nervous system to respond to pain with natural relief.

After completing trials with patients suffering from many different types of chronic pain, Mathys has found that he can successfully treat the cause of the pain with a simple combination of operant conditioning and a noninvasive finger prick.

“Our research shows that chronic pain patients typically have a depreciated autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS can be trained using a combination of individualized cardiac-gated electro stimulation administered through the finger and operant therapy focused on rewarding good behaviors and eliminating pain behaviors,” explained the Marburg team in a Reddit AMA.

Empowerment through backend automation

After the S.E.T device was completed to measure and stimulate the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), Mathys’s team then created a comprehensive “elearning” program. This program is was created so therapists could begin to conduct sessions with their patients.

That’s when CEO and Enterprise Architect Seth Helgeson discovered DreamFactory.

In the beginning, Mathys had limited database and programming knowledge, so the server requirements were too complex for his use. Because of this, DreamFactory became a crucial part of the journey. Instead of creating his own APIs from scratch, he was able to instead spin them up through the DreamFactory platform.

After trying the free hosted version of DreamFactory, he was up and running very quickly. He simply entered the URL of his MySQL server and credentials. The API was then auto-generated in a matter of seconds and he was able to have a working application with around ten hours of additional work.

Launching the app marketplace

Due to European regulations, the API couldn’t continue to be hosted in America. User privacy and security are essential components of any healthcare technology. So, Mathys found himself stepping up to a local install on his own server. The DreamFactory support team provided critical help at this point.

For the ongoing front-end work, he has outsourced the native Android app development to a team of developers.

DreamFactory provides a variety of tools to manage both and Mathys has leveraged the built-in role and user management to keep tight control of user data.

Looking to the future

Using DreamFactory, Mathys and his team were able to bring their vision to life. The team is treating patients on a far reaching scale with the process and the results have been transformative.

One story stood out to Mathys about the importance of what he and his team are working on:
“A couple came to us and they couldn’t have kids. They were considering a breakup. He’s German and she’s Spanish and she had a lot of chronic pain. The pain was preventing them from having kids, not physically, but from a practical point of view. So, we treated her. We got rid of her pain. She now has one child and is pregnant with a second child. The husband is so happy. It completely changed their lives.”


Philipps-University of Marburg

Systolic Extinction Training - Department of Medical Psychology. Systolic Extinction Training or SET, is not a pharmaceutical, but rather a novel approach designed to avoid the downsides of medication. The program components make up the name. The term ‘Systolic‘ (pressure) is the high pressure point of your heart cycle, pain ‘Extinction’ in the brain and ‘Train’ it to adjust your pain perception.