Can Google Glass Reduce Hospital Visits for Nursing Home Patients?
Published on February 16, 2016
You may have heard of new technologies like Google Glass being used in operation rooms, but a new company is hoping to implement this technology in long-term care facilities – such as Phoenix nursing homes – across the nation. Third Eye Health uses Google Glass to connect nursing home staff with doctors in order to help reduce hospital visits annually.
How Can Google Glass Benefit Nursing Homes?
Third Eye Health builds a secure mobile platform for sharing information, video and audio via smart devices or wearables like Google Glass or Vuzix. A nurse uses this technology at a patient or resident’s bedside, runs a software, and connects a physician with information needed to determine whether a resident has a medical emergency or something less serious. This allows a doctor to remotely make a distinction between something like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or a simple cough. After all, saving as little as a few minutes could mean the difference between life and death in certain situations, or it could save residents thousands of dollars and hours of time if an emergency room visit isn’t necessary.
How much does it cost?
To a resident: nothing. Providers are responsible for billing Medicare or other insurers for reimbursements for services provided using Third Eye.
Does it work?
In 2014, Harvard Medical School published a study about nursing homes using telehealth programs and found that residents were hospitalized less frequently. A Texas-based nursing home chain called Advanced Healthcare Solutions has been testing Third Eye services in one of their rural locations (they have 44 nursing homes total containing about 4,000 residents) and found that the technology has been well-received. Many stroke facilities have also been using Third Eye, but data has not yet been released for these facilities. However, when dealing with matters of the brain, every second truly counts, so if the technology proves effective, this could be a game-changer for facilities.
Third Eye hopes to improve outcomes, reduce unnecessary visits to the hospital and save money for patients. When searching for Phoenix nursing homes, telehealth services like Third Eye could be a benefit you start to see when comparing nursing homes. If your loved one is already in a nursing home, ask the office or upper management if there are any plans to invest in services like this. Although these services could help reduce harm for your loved one, it could also increase your loved one’s risk of wrongful diagnosis if information is not properly seen or heard through these devices. Unfortunately, with new technology, only time will tell if the benefits outweigh the risks. The expert Phoenix medical malpractice attorneys at Knapp & Roberts will continue to keep you updated on burgeoning technologies and risks on our blog. Check back often.
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