Smart glasses help nurses deliver better care


Smart glasses are helping nurses provide better treatment at a Fredericksburg health and rehabilitation center in Virginia.

Commonwealth Care of Roanoke (CCR) has launched a pilot program equipping nurses with smart glasses similar to Google Glass. These glasses can display information to the wearer while transmitting what the wearer sees via an integrated camera and a HIPAA compliant IT platform.

CCR is using the glasses to provide feedback and consultation to nurses and also help supervisors evaluate the quality of care patients receive.

While approximately thirty medical centers and medical schools are using smart glasses for training and evaluation, this is the first time a long term care facility has tried the new technology.

"It's all about quality," said Deborah Petrine, chief executive officer (CEO) of CCR. "If we can harness new technology to improve the quality of care our patients get, we're all for it."

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 added that 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. "It's no different than a supervisor assisting a nurse on a case, except the supervisor is not in the room," Petrine said.

"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 currently using the glasses and it will add two of its other centers in late 2015. CCR is slated to make the smart glasses program available at all twelve of its centers in 2016.

Smart Glasses, Google Glass, Commonwealth Care of Roanoke, US, HIPAA