MedTech Wednesday: Microsoft’s New HoloLens 2 helps the clinically vulnerable

MedTech Wednesday is our regular check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful healthcare innovation and health technology news and trends.

This week we will be looking at Microsoft’s New HoloLens 2 and how it’s helping the clinically vulnerable, the millions of days lost in NHS staff absences and the joining of Macmillan and Careology to elevate digital cancer care.

Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 aids the vulnerable

A care home in Cumbria has been adapted the use of Microsoft’s Hololens 2 technology, to ensure that the high risk and vulnerable engage with their GP’s without leaving their homes according to digitalhealth.net.

Through the use of this new technology worn by nurses at Kenda Care Home doctors can communicate with their patients directly asking about their health, diagnosing conditions and advising nurses further. The technology in question is linked to the Dynamics Remote Assist app which allows for Microsoft teams calls with doctors directly whether that be remote or at their surgery.

Geethu Tennison, deputy manager at Kendal Care Home, said: “Because HoloLens 2 enables real-time communications, it has also helped to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents. They are still able to see and talk to their nurses and GP, despite many being infirm, unwell and bed-bound.”

The care home began using the system in October 2020 replacing tablets and smartphones with it proving to be more effective. This allowed for pandemic protocols to be observed while removing the need for patients to leave facilities for health-related appointments.

Macmillan and Careology elevate digital cancer care

The award-winning digital care platform Careology and Macmillan Cancer support have struck up a partnership to provide support for UK citizens living with cancer digitalhealth.net reports.

Careology technology provides a platform to help patients feel safe supporting and connecting them with their loved ones and healthcare professionals while remaining under remote care. Additionally, they can monitor and share health metrics such as side effects and gain direct information from healthcare providers.

Paul Landau, founder and CEO of Careology, said: “The ambition for both parties is to bring together our relative skill sets, which are very different, to deliver something that can be incredibly special and helpful to people.”

The ongoing Covid -19 pandemic has contributed to an increased amount of pressure on the NHS and health care in the UK greatly affecting those living with cancer. However, despite these impacts, there have been some positives most notably being the increasing capability of digital healthcare and its ability to relieve some of the stress on the NHS.

Jamie Kichenbrand, head of commercial partnerships at Macmillan Cancer Support, added: One of the changes that are going to happen out of the back of the pandemic is the move to digitised cancer care that can support the NHS to work in different ways that reduce the day-to-day impact and need on healthcare providers in a typical hospital setting. This is where technology like Careology comes in, where you’re offering efficiency back into a system that so desperately needs it.

The millions of days lost due to NHS staff absence

With the release of new figures, it has been shown that NHS trust across England lost just under two million days in staff absences as a result of long Covid over the past 18 months Health Business reports.

Data collected under the Freedom of Information Act from 70 NHS trusts, the APPG on coronavirus have estimated that 1.82 million days were lost to staff with long Covid throughout March 2020- September 2021. Furthermore, this estimate does not include the current Omicron variant which was detected in November.

It has been estimated by the Office for National Statistics that 1.3 million people are currently living with long Covid which is 2% of the population. Building on this more than 500,00 people have had symptoms for a year including fatigue, brain fog and breathlessness.

The government has been called upon by MP’s to recognise the condition as a diagnosed disease helping to standardise the support and care for those who are suffering.  Additionally, MP’s have pushed for a compensation scheme to be set up to support those who have been affected financially.

Layla Moran, the Liberal Democrat MP who chairs the APPG, said the government had paid ‘almost no attention to long Covid and the severe impact it was having on vital public services.”