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Essex-based Provide Community utilises RealWear smart glasses
Wed, 14th Feb 2024

RealWear, a company producing smart glasses for frontline workers, announced the successful adoption of their RealWear Navigator 500 smart glasses by Provide Community, a community interest company for employees based in Essex. These cutting-edge smart glasses feature real-time video streaming capabilities, allowing clinicians to instantly connect with colleagues and receive immediate support.

As a result of adopting these smart glasses, Provide Community's podiatry team has seen notable improvements, with the skill set of the team being substantially broadened. The majority of new learners are now using these smart glasses, enhancing their learning experience with instant support from experienced professionals through video calls. Consequently, the reach and capacity of seasoned podiatrists within the team have increased by 50%. This has enabled the provision of the same level of care while ensuring safety, effectiveness, satisfaction and the avoidance of unwanted delays.

Provide Community, serving 11 million people across Essex, the East of England, Dorset, and the North of England and promote innovation across its workforce of over 1,200 people. The adoption of wearable technology to support real-time communication between individual staff and wider teams stemmed from this innovation-oriented work environment.

Before the deployment of RealWear smart glasses, team members would conduct a preliminary visit and patient assessment, subsequently scheduling a follow-up appointment with a more senior clinician. The new solution eliminates the need for an additional appointment as clinicians can now video stream their initial appointments in real-time, receiving immediate support from their colleagues. The device can also be controlled without the use of hands, ensuring safety.

The employment of RealWear's smart glasses has streamlined internal processes, especially within Provide Community's podiatry team. Recruitment of experienced podiatrists has always been a challenge. However, these smart glasses have also eliminated the need for in-person supervision for junior or recently qualified members, replacing it with virtual support. This has eradicated common issues, such as clinic rescheduling and cancellations, thanks to real-time assistance.

Kez Spelman, Director of Innovation and Community Resilience at Provide Community, emphasised that the technology was not selected to replace the human touch in compassionate care. Instead, it was aimed at enhancing on-the-job learning via a communication system that closely mimics having an experienced professional in the room.

Steve Woodford, Digital Innovation Project Manager at Provide Community, highlighted the positive feedback from users who have tried the headsets, praising the viewfinder's impressive view and the intuitive nature of the voice activation feature.

"People recover better in their own homes, and this has led towards maximising care delivery to people in their homes. RealWear's technology offers support for this principle of care," added Kez Spelman.

Dr. Chris Parkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of RealWear, emphasised the potential of their smart glasses as a cost-effective means to support the NHS's digital transformation efforts and deliver improved and faster patient care at reduced costs.