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NHS trials smart goggles to give nurses more time with patients

High tech goggles will be worn by community nurses on home visits to free up time with patients, as part of a cutting-edge NHS pilot.

As long as a patient consents, the virtual reality style headset can transcribe the appointment directly to electronic records, reducing time-consuming admin for nurses. Staff will be able to share live footage directly with hospital colleagues to get a second opinion, avoiding the need for further appointments or hospital admission, and includes thermal imaging to help assess how wounds and injuries have healed.

The glasses, which also help nurses look up their next appointment that day and check how long it will take to get there based on live travel updates, will be trialled in Northern Lincolnshire and Goole from next week.

Community nurses are estimated to spend more than half of their day filling out forms and manually inputting patient data. The pilot will help to expand their capacity, giving them more time for clinical tasks such as checking blood pressure, dressing wounds and assessing patient’s relevant health needs.

NHS England awarded the trust £400,000 to test the technology as part of a wider innovation project, which is set to fund a further 16 pilot projects over the coming months. The NHS Long Term Plan committed to deploying the latest cutting-edge technologies while rolling out new innovations and treatments to patients across the country.

Earlier this year, the NHS announced that patients with Parkinson’s disease would be given life-changing smartwatches that allow doctors to remotely assess their condition in a pioneering project to revolutionise NHS care.

NHS director for transformation Dr. Tim Ferris said: “Some of the best innovations come from local solutions and so through this project, NHS staff can test what works for them and what provides the best possible care for patients.

“These new smart glasses are the latest pioneering tech and really show us what the future of the NHS could look like – they are a win-win for staff and patients alike, freeing up time consuming admin for nurses, meaning more time for patient care.”

Minister for Health, Maria Caulfield, said: “Health and care research is crucial to transforming our health service and ensure the NHS is able to deliver world-class care. These new high-tech goggles have the potential to revolutionise the way community nurses carry out home visits – reducing admin and increasing the accuracy of diagnosis and treatment."

The tech will be rolled out this summer in areas run by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, with local patients informed about the project and explicitly asked if they consent for the technology to be used and their data to be recorded. The software dubbed 'A.Consult' was developed by Concept Health, a company founded by a GP, to run on the smart glasses built by  ThirdEye. If patients agree, data will be transferred securely to the electronic patient record system.

 

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