‘See what I see’: remote clinical assessment in care homes

GG.jpgWe are supporting a trial in east Sussex that enables a GP to provide a remote clinical assessment of a resident in a care home. This speeds up the process, meaning the patient is assessed more quickly and any change of care and treatment can begin sooner.
Currently, there is often a time lag between the exacerbation of a patient’s condition and the availability of a GP to provide their clinical assessment. This can delay the patient receiving the best care and lead to avoidable unplanned hospital admissions. Hospital admissions can be confusing and unsettling for patients who are often frail and elderly. They can also lead to deterioration in their condition which could have been avoided.
During 2014/15 across Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), there were 1,011 emergency admissions of people over 65 years of age from a care home. This cost of £2.4m. In Hastings and Rother CCG, there were 912 such admissions, at a cost of £2m.
The “See what I see” project uses head-mounted technology to conduct remote clinical assessments which would otherwise require a GP to attend the care home in person to assess the patient.
Benefits include:
• Reduced unplanned admissions to an acute setting
• Shorter waits for clinical assessments for patient
• Improve quality of assessment
• Improve quality of care for patient
• Improved capacity for primary care clinicians
• Increased level of staff confidence and assessment skills
• Enhanced patient experience
The Xpert Eye technology (a head mounted camera system) is provided by Ama. The idea of using some form of camera system to provide remote clinicians with real time information is not new. However, with many technologies the users’ interaction with the resident or patient is interfered with by the need to look at a screen to communicate. Unlike other technologies with the Xpert Eye system the remote viewer shares the exact point of view of the glasses' wearer, offering freedom of action and keeps the operators hands free.
Importantly, it also enables continuous interaction with the patient, which is particularly important with older patients who may have some form of condition related confusion or dementia.
Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSS AHSN) is delighted to support this project and excited about working with digital healthcare innovator Dr Keith Grimes and his colleagues at Hastings and Rother CCG and Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG, together with technology provider Ama and care home partners.
"We are absolutely delighted to be able to trial this wonderful technology in care homes that we think will offer huge benefits  to the care home residents, staff and GPs.  The support we are able to access from The Health Foundation as part of this award will be so helpful for our project team.  We are pleased to be working in  collaboration with  Ama, Hastings and Rother CCG and Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG."
Tracey Faraday-Drake
Director - Living Well for Longer Programme
KSS AHSN has extensive experience of leading and evaluating significant programmes of work within the field of health care. This project is part of our Living Well for Longer programme, which supports more effective and more sustainable services for older people. Key to this is supporting commissioners and providers to innovate for change and bridging the gap between industry and the health and care sector. The project links in to our 5G Internet of Things Test Bed at the University of Surrey.
This project was one of twenty two projects that were awarded the Health Foundation's Innovating for Improvement programme. You can read our news story about the other projects involved in the programme here and for more information you can contact Tracey Faraday-Drake, Living Well For Longer programme Manager.