New virtual reality-style goggles are to be trialled by nurses on home visits, in an effort to maximise the amount of time spent with patients, the NHS has said.
Smart glasses will, in real time, transcribe appointments straight to electronic records, so the time spent doing administration tasks is reduced.
In turn, more time will be available for nurses to carry out clinical duties such as checking blood pressure, checking wounds and assessing health needs.
It is estimated that community nurses spend more than half their day manually inputting data and filling out forms.
The goggles include thermal imaging to help assess how wounds and injuries have healed and will allow staff to share live footage directly with hospital colleagues to get a second opinion.
Nurses in the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust area will begin the trial next week with patients who give consent for the tech to be used.
NHS director for transformation Dr Tim Ferris said: “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.”
The software used in the smart glasses, dubbed A.Consult, were developed by Concept Health, with founder Farhan Amin saying: “As the smart glasses learn from each patient encounter, it will automate key tasks currently performed manually, giving staff time back to deliver holistic person-centred care to each patient.”
Clinical nurse specialist Becky Birchall said her team are “excited” to be the first in the country to take the devices on community visits.
“We currently spend a considerable amount of time writing up our visits to patients, and these cutting-edge goggles will really help to cut down the time we need to keep for admin, supporting us to care for our patients,” she said.
The trust was awarded £400,000 by NHS England to trial the technology as part of wider innovation, which will see a further 16 pilot schemes in the coming months – with the NHS Long Term Plan committed to using the latest technology across the country.