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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.

UK High Court rules Saudi Arabia not immune from legal challenge over spyware against British resident | Science & Tech News

A human rights activist has been granted the ability to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after alleging Saudi agents assaulted him and infected his iPhones with spyware.

The High Court ruled on Friday that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) does not have immunity from facing the legal challenge under the State Immunity Act 1978.

Ghanem Al-Masarir, 41, is a satirist on YouTube and an activist who has lived in England since 2003.

He “has been prominently involved in campaigning for political reform and human rights in Saudi Arabia”, according to the High Court summary of his claim.

Mr Al-Masarir claims that the KSA hacked his phones using spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, which has since been sanctioned by the US government for its involvement in alleged human rights abuses.

His claim is that the spyware allowed the Saudi regime’s staff “to access his microphone and camera to hear and record what he was doing”, say his lawyers at Leigh Day.

He was also assaulted in an attack outside Harrods in Knightsbridge, central London, on 31 August 2018 – the same year he was granted asylum in the UK – by people who he claims were acting on the behalf of the Saudi regime.

Lawyers representing the KSA argued there is no evidence that it was liable for the alleged phone infection or that the assault was committed on the kingdom’s behalf.

Mr Al-Masarir runs a YouTube channel
Image:
Mr Al-Masarir runs a YouTube channel

Mr Al-Masarir had been tipped off about the surveillance by staff at The Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the University of Toronto.

The Citizen Lab has brought many spyware cases and potential human rights abuses to light, including the tool’s alleged use inside Downing Street.

He described today’s ruling – which found against the KSA’s claim that it was immune from being hauled into an English court for the alleged actions – as a “huge relief”.

“The impact of the assault and the targeting with spyware, which I believe was orchestrated by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has had a profound effect on my life,” he said in a statement following the ruling.

“I no longer feel safe and I am constantly looking over my shoulder. I no longer feel able to speak up for the oppressed Saudi people because I fear that any contact with people inside the Kingdom could put them in danger.

“I look forward to presenting my full case to the court in the hope that I can finally hold the Kingdom to account for the suffering I believe they have caused me,” he added.