Serving on a committee of surgical sub-specialists at Akron Children’s Hospital, pediatric dentist Dr. Jeffrey Berlin was helping on a project aimed to reduce opioid prescribing to manage pain. In that meeting, which was in April 2019, Berlin found himself doodling a clock – which is where his idea for the Comfort Control Clock was born.
Two years later, the Comfort Control Clock recently launched intending to not only reduce the use of opioid prescribing, but also to help post-operative patients manage pain when alternating medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen by reminding them when to take their medications without the need of Post-it notes, apps, reminders or alarms.
Berlin, 35, of Beachwood and a member of Bais Dovid Cleveland, said within the last few weeks of it being on the market and being used by practitioners in his hospital, the “user feedback has been phenomenal.”
“We presented it to my colleagues who all thought it was a good idea and we’ve started using it at Akron Children’s Hospital,” he said. “It has caught traction quickly and everyone has found it really helpful. We’re just getting it off the ground. But, we knew it was a good thing when doctors from our other campus were asking where they could get it. Now it’s caught on amongst different departments, everything from cardiac and orthopedic surgery to dental surgery.”
The beauty of the Comfort Control Clock is in its simplicity, Berlin said. Easily hung up on the fridge, the clock has a movable center piece that accurately shows when patient should alternate their acetaminophen and ibuprofen based on when they first started the regimen. And while these directions may seem simple on the surface, taking one of those pills every three hours, it can quickly become overwhelming without the right management tool.
“Anybody who has had surgery or an injury can attest to the fact that you’d set an alarm for two in the morning to take your medicine or just stay awake to stay on top of it, or trying to get a child to take medicine, it is really hard to remember which you took last or what is next,” he said, giving an example where an emergency room nurse could give you one pill and simply show you on a Comfort Control Clock when your next one is due at home.
As both a pain management tool and educational tool, the Comfort Control Clock can also be personalized for each hospital or practice using it, allowing it to be a marketing tool. With its varying usage, Berlin said he hopes for it to become one of the leading pain tools in the U.S., specifically as part of the arsenal to fight to opioid crisis.
“We know that for many, many painful situations, non-opioid medications are very effective if used properly,” he said. “This tool just helps you do it properly. It helps you stay organized with the confidence that you’re using the right medicine at the right time.”
Knowing that life can get hectic, especially if you’re in pain, Berlin said it all goes back to the Comfort Control Clock’s easy to use design.
“It’s easy to screw up and accidentally double your doses, it can be dangerous,” he said. “Many acute injuries can be managed with simple alternating medications. So, I’d love to see it in every hand in the country that has been prescribed such a regimen. But, always consult your medical professional before taking medications.”
To learn more about the Comfort Control Clock, visit comfortcontrolclock.com.