Smart glasses similar to Google Glass are helping skilled nurses provide better wound care and other treatment at a Fredericksburg, Va., health and rehabilitation center, according to a news release.
Commonwealth Care of Roanoke Inc. has launched a pilot program equipping nurses with the smart glasses, which can display information to the wearer while transmitting what the wearer sees using an integrated camera and an IT platform that complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The CCR pilot is using the glasses to provide feedback and consultation to RNs and also to help supervisors evaluate the quality of patient care.
Where smart glasses are used
About 30 medical centers and medical schools are using smart glasses for training and evaluation, but according to the release this is the first time a long-term care facility has tried the new technology.
“For us, it’s all about quality,” Deborah Petrine, CEO of CCR, said in the release. “If we can harness new technology to improve the quality of care our patients get, we’re all for it.”
Using the glasses, a supervising nurse can advise nurses remotely in assessing wound care and do virtual rounding with the nurses while treating wounds. They can then provide feedback and evaluate areas where care could improve. The opportunity to do one-on-one, real-time training with the wound nurse when needed is another valuable feature the smart glasses provide.
Petrine said patient privacy will be protected. The glasses and software, provided by an Austin, Texas-based company specializing in medical applications for smart glasses, are both HIPAA compliant. No information is recorded, and patients can opt out of the program, according to the release.
“It’s no different than a supervisor assisting a nurse on a case, except the supervisor is not in the room,” Petrine said in the release. “When we started the smart glasses trials, we did have some anxiety about whether patients would accept it. So far, all our patients and families have been very receptive of the technology and its benefits.”
Three CCR health and rehab centers are using the glasses, and two of its other centers will add the technology by the end of 2015. CCR plans to make the smart glasses program available at all 12 of its centers in 2016.