Secondary Care

Microsoft HoloLens introduced in Kendall to connect care homes to GPs

A mixed reality headset has been introduced across Kendall care homes to support nurses at the bedside and connect with a GP remotely.

Introduced in October 2020 for 60 care home residents who have skin conditions or are bedfast, a nurse using the Microsoft HoloLens 2 can connect with a GP without the need for the resident to attend the GP practice.

The headset is linked to a Dynamics 365 Remote Assist app which uses Microsoft Teams to send a secure live feed to a computer screen. It means a GP working from their GP practice or remotely can receive a call from the nurse and directly assess the patient through the eyes of the attending nurse.

The technology was initially piloted on the respiratory wards at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) back in June 2020. It was used to reduce infection rates and the need for multiple members of staff to be in contact with patients.

Kendal Integrated Care Community and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust introduced the solution, and said it supports ‘better quality images for the GP allowing for diagnosis and treatment plan’ and ‘more confidence for nursing staff and families’.

Dr Colin Brown, Chief Clinical Information Officer, UHMBT, said: “The care home project is really inspirational and is providing safe, clinical connections for residents and GPs during the coronavirus pandemic. We are working closely with our partners across the Integrated Care System (ICS) to see how we can further develop this technology to transform patient care across health and care settings.”

Amanda Hodgson, Clinical Manager of Kendal Care Home, added: “Before the headset was introduced to the care home back in October, nursing staff were having to call the GP from an iPad or smartphone so they could see the resident. By using the HoloLens headset, the GP can get a clearer picture of the patient and give advice on whether further treatment is needed.

“We’ve had some great feedback from residents and families of residents who feel assured that this technology is giving GPs a clearer picture of their or their loved one’s condition.”

Local GP Dr Richard Russell said: “HoloLens has enabled real-time communications with residents who really need it, whilst keeping them safe from COVID. Its improved quality and access, especially for those infirm, unwell and bed bound. Worried families now feel happier and reassured. This is only the start, and we look forward to improving this concept for our residents.”