Mixed Reality – the new frontier for care in the home
In the last decade, technology has dramatically changed the way we live, how we complete daily tasks and how we interact with each other.
Take smartphones for example: for better or worse, they have become an extension of who we are. They allow us to access information at any time, in any location, share our thoughts with friends and send videos and photos around the world in an instant.
And it is all done with a simple click, swipe or tap - but it wasn’t too long ago the thought of making a video call using these gestures were foreign to us all.
Silver Chain Group Chief Executive Officer, Dr Christopher McGowan said what was once science fiction, is fast becoming a reality.
“All our support staff, including support workers and nurses and physiotherapists carry smartphones. At any given time, they have access to important client details, health protocols and rosters,” Dr McGowan said.
“It’s become an unremarkable part of our lives.
“However, what is remarkable is what is around the corner, and that is mixed reality.
“Imagine you are in your living room and in need of a consultation from a health care professional because you are too sick, immobile or it is simply too far way.
“You put on a headset that instantly brings that person into your living room in holographic form. You will be able have a face-to-face conversation with them as if they were really there.”
Silver Chain Group calls this new technology Enhanced Medical Mixed Reality, or EMMR (pronounced EM-R), and will be the first organisation in the world to use mixed reality to put health care professionals in people’s homes.
Dr McGowan said it’s a very exciting time for both health care professionals and consumers.
“EMMR will enhance the delivery of our services, further supporting our clients to remain at home, rather than be transferred to hospital,” Dr McGowan said.
“They won’t have to travel for appointments, and health care professionals can remain in central locations while still providing personalised care, saving the health care system time and money.”
The technology doesn’t stop at holoportation either. Using EMMR, a Silver Chain Group nurse visiting a client will be able to gain hands-free access to clients’ clinical data through the EMMR dashboard, while a doctor effectively ‘sees through the eyes of the nurse’ as the consultation takes place.
EMMR also has the ability to share real time consultations with family members anywhere in the world, all via mixed reality capture technology.
Silver Chain Group’s EMMR is in the final stages of software development and will be trialled in coming months across a variety of locations and settings before the technology is rolled out.