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‘Pioneering’ new smart glasses to be trialled by nurses to help them spend more time with patients | Science & Tech News

New virtual reality-style goggles are to be trialled by nurses on home visits, in an effort to maximise the amount of time spent with patients, the NHS has said.

Smart glasses will, in real time, transcribe appointments straight to electronic records, so the time spent doing administration tasks is reduced.

In turn, more time will be available for nurses to carry out clinical duties such as checking blood pressure, checking wounds and assessing health needs.

It is estimated that community nurses spend more than half their day manually inputting data and filling out forms.

The goggles include thermal imaging to help assess how wounds and injuries have healed and will allow staff to share live footage directly with hospital colleagues to get a second opinion.

Nurses in the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust area will begin the trial next week with patients who give consent for the tech to be used.

NHS director for transformation Dr Tim Ferris said: “These new smart glasses are the latest pioneering tech and really show us what the future of the NHS could look like.

“They are a win-win for staff and patients alike, freeing up time-consuming admin for nurses, meaning more time for patient care.”

The software used in the smart glasses, dubbed A.Consult, were developed by Concept Health, with founder Farhan Amin saying: “As the smart glasses learn from each patient encounter, it will automate key tasks currently performed manually, giving staff time back to deliver holistic person-centred care to each patient.”

Undated handout photo issued by NHS England of a nurse wearing a NHS high-tech goggle which is being used on home visits to maximise time with patients, as part of a new NHS trial.

Clinical nurse specialist Becky Birchall said her team are “excited” to be the first in the country to take the devices on community visits.

“We currently spend a considerable amount of time writing up our visits to patients, and these cutting-edge goggles will really help to cut down the time we need to keep for admin, supporting us to care for our patients,” she said.

The trust was awarded £400,000 by NHS England to trial the technology as part of wider innovation, which will see a further 16 pilot schemes in the coming months – with the NHS Long Term Plan committed to using the latest technology across the country.

Gene therapy cuts risk of bleeding in haemophilia B patients, study finds | UK News

A new gene therapy can substantially cut the risk of bleeding in people with the rare condition haemophilia B, according to a new study.

Researchers found people who received a single injection of the gene therapy, called FLT180a, did not need to inject themselves every week with clotting factors – proteins that help control bleeding.

Haemophilia is a rare condition that impacts the blood’s ability to clot.

It is typically inherited and mainly affects men.

People with the condition lack clotting factors, which mix with blood cells called platelets to stop bleeding after cuts and injuries.

They can still suffer debilitating joint damage – a consequence of the condition – even with the weekly injections currently available.

Haemophilia A is caused by a lack of factor VIII and is more common, while haemophilia B is caused by a deficiency of factor IX.

In a new 26-week trial led by the Royal Free Hospital, University College London and biotechnology company Freeline Therapeutics, experts found that a single treatment with FLT180a led to sustained production of the protein from the liver in nine out of 10 patients with severe or moderately severe haemophilia.

Lead author Professor Pratima Chowdary, from UCL, said: “Removing the need for haemophilia patients to regularly inject themselves with the missing protein is an important step in improving their quality of life.

“The long-term follow-up study will monitor the patients for durability of expression and surveillance for late effects.”

Patients on the trial had to take immune suppressing drugs over several weeks to several months to keep their immune systems from rejecting the treatment.

While the therapy was generally well received, all patients experienced side effects.

One who received the highest FLT180a dose developed an abnormal blood clot.

Professor Amit Nathwani, who co-founded Freeline, a company focused on liver-directed gene therapies, said: “Gene therapy is still a young field that pushes the boundaries of science for people with severe genetic diseases.”

He said the trial, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, adds to “the growing body of evidence that gene therapy has the potential to free patients from the challenges of having to adhere to lifelong therapy or could provide treatment where none exists today”.