Provide Community transforms its clinical and community care with RealWear smart glasses

In General XR News

February 14, 2024 – RealWear, a provider of smart glasses for frontline workers, has announced that Provide Community, an employee-owned community interest company with headquarters in Essex, UK, has successfully deployed RealWear smart glasses.

Provide Community, which employs over 1,200 people and serves a population of 11 million people, delivers a broad range of health and social care services and works from a variety of community settings, such as community hospitals, community clinics, residential care homes and primary care settings, as well as within peoples’ homes.

The company explored the use of wearable technology for real-time communication between individual staff and wider teams to support delivery of care in communities. Further exploration with its clinical teams established opportunities within Community Nursing to reduce two person and repeat visits. As a result, Provide Community opted to deploy RealWear’s smart glasses to enable real-time communication between community care clinicians and Podiatrists for clinics dispersed across the region.

According to RealWear, Provide Community has deployed 35 of its Navigator 500 smart glasses. The device offers hands free navigation, a voice-controlled user interface, third-party apps and other cloud-based services, all within a rugged and comfortable design.

RealWear’s Navigator 500 device

Prior to deploying RealWear smart glasses, following a preliminary visit and patient assessment, Provide Community team members would have had to schedule a follow up appointment with a more senior clinician to accompany them. However the new solution now enables clinicians to video stream appointments in real-time with colleagues and receive immediate support.

While primarily used as a two-way video collaboration solution with a front-facing camera for remote assistance, the Navigator 500 also has the ability to take photos of patients, which are transferred immediately to the remote clinician’s computer for further analysis and advice.

The deployment initiative led to collaboration with Provide Community’s podiatry team, which chose to primarily focus on supporting recently qualified podiatrists and junior team members. The RealWear headsets enabled experienced podiatrists to provide virtual and remote support to junior and recently qualified team members, rather than having to physically travel to a site to offer direct support, which carried logistical and practicality issues.

A member of Provide Community’s podiatry team performing a home visit using the RealWear Navigator 500.

As such, Provide Community stated that the introduction of RealWear smart glasses has expanded the podiatry team’s skill set, with the majority of new learners now being supported through the use of smart glasses and speaking with experienced professionals via a video call. The deployment has also resulted in an increase in reach and capacity of experienced podiatrists in the team by 50%, and the same level of care can be provided while still maintaining safety, effectiveness, satisfaction and avoiding delays, according to the company.

Kez Spelman, Director of Innovation and Community Resilience at Provide Community, stated: “RealWear’s simplicity, durability and ruggedness meant that its devices stood out from a clinical perspective. It’s important to note that this solution is not about replacing people or the human touch that’s so central to compassionate care; it’s about facilitating on-the-job learning through a communication system, creating an experience that closely resembles having an experienced professional in the room.”

Spelman added, “There is a realization that people recover better in their own homes and the emphasis now and as we move into the future includes maximizing care delivery to people in their homes. People are more comfortable at home and this preference contributes to better outcomes with Realwear tech offering support for this principle of care.”

Also commenting on the deployment was Dr. Chris Parkinson, CEO and Co-Founder of RealWear, who said: “Our smart glasses are taking off as a cost-efficient way to support the NHS’s digital transformation efforts to provide improved and faster patient care at a much lower cost. We encourage the NHS Trusts and others to bring RealWear smart glasses into its standard offering for its professionals.”

For more information on RealWear and its smart glasses solutions for virtual and remote assistance, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: RealWear / Provide Community

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.