The NHS Long Term Plan outlines NHS’s commitment to invest in new innovations and treatments. They promised to deploy the latest cutting-edge technologies to better manage the capacity of services and help ease the burden on clinicians.
NHS England was awarded £400,000 to test smart goggles as part of a wider innovation project. As part of this pilot, community nurses will wear high-tech goggles on patient home visits with the patient's consent.
It is estimated that community nurses spend more than half of their working day completing administrative work, which largely involves manually inputting patient data.
The point of these smart goggles is to reduce time-consuming administrative tasks and free up this time to spend with patients. Hence, the headset can transcribe appointments directly to electronic records. In addition, staff can share live footage directly with hospital colleagues to gather a second opinion and support clinical decision-making.
The thermal imaging feature will allow clinicians to examine injuries and wounds. This avoids the need for further consulting, booking additional appointments or hospital admission.
The pilot trial will help to prove that such technology can be a great asset for managing demand and reducing the workload. It will allow them more time to undertake clinical tasks, including blood pressure recording, examining wounds and assessing the health needs of their patients.
The pilot trial will be rolled out during the summer in areas run by Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust. Patients will be fully informed about the project, and their consent will be required for the technology to be used in their presence and for their data to be taken and securely transferred to the electronic patient record system.
Minister for Health, Maria Caulfield, said, “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.
“Yet again, this technology is testament to the UK’s innovation and our front-footedness in the discovery of ground-breaking research which can help us beat the COVID backlogs”.
The smart goggles will learn from each patient encounter and automate key tasks to improve productivity levels so that staff are given more time to deliver quality care to each patient.
Source: NHS England