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How doctors could soon be holoporting into Australian homes
The next frontier in healthcare is about further extending the clinical contribution of doctors beyond hospitals and consulting rooms.
With our ageing population, demand for community-based care is growing. Home is the least costly setting for long-term health care – and an option greatly preferred by patients and families.
To date, there have been some challenges in providing integrated health care in the home, even with positive support from state governments. But when Microsoft released the HoloLens augmented reality headset, it presented new possibilities to use ‘holoportation’ to deliver face to face clinical consulting from a remote site.
We believe the hospitals and GP practices of the future will be both physical and virtual, to meet growing healthcare needs more efficiently – and to give people more choice.
This is why we’ve been working with Saab Australia – a pioneer in mixed reality technology as a future game changer in a wide range of domains. Mixed reality is about ‘merging’ the real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and information visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.
Patient data appears to be floating in front of you
The Silver Chain Enhanced Medical Mixed Reality interface, named EMMR, will enable our nurses at the bedside to work hands-free while accessing previous clinical information, and also document new biometric readings that can be accessed immediately by remote doctors.
With EMMR, all the patient data appears to be floating in front of you. Doctors can dial in, and can see through the lens of what the nurse is doing – creating a seamless and integrated client or clinician experience of patient care.
The clinician can also talk to the patient or the nurse as if they were in the same room, enabling expert decisions about patient care to be made in real time.
It’s not about replacing GPs
This is very important. It’s about changing the way they can work. Our GPs are best placed to look at holistic care for a patient, but they don’t always have the time.
And when people are unwell, having them spend their time travelling to and from the doctor’s office is often the last thing they should be doing.
We’re talking about further extending the clinical contribution of doctors beyond hospitals and consulting rooms, creating a more effective and efficient health system for all Australians. The gold standard of health care delivery will always be face-to-face. EMMR will give doctors the ability to diagnose and treat emerging conditions quickly and effectively, when patients need them most.
Developing this software is part of our vision is to provide the world’s best health and aged care so Australians can confidently live their lives as they choose. I’m excited about the possibilities that technology brings – this is how we will support the delivery of individualised personal care in the community. EMMR is just the beginning.
Saab Australia is a high technology solutions provider specialising in integrated software systems. Employing over 370 Australians, the company is one of the country’s most respected system integrators. It is leading research and development for technology to protect Australia’s critical systems and to keep its people and society safe.