A care home in Cumbria has been using Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 technology to allow clinically vulnerable residents to be seen by their GPs without leaving their home.

Nurses at Kendal Care Home are wearing Microsoft’s mixed-reality HoloLens 2 headset to call GPs through Teams. The technology is linked to the Dynamics 365 Remote Assist app which facilitates the Teams call – regardless of whether the doctor may be at the surgery, or working remotely. Doctors are able to directly communicate with patients and ask questions about their health, make a diagnosis and advise the nurse on the most appropriate treatment. All conversations can be heard in real time.

The care home first started using the solution in October 2020 and has now replaced smartphones and tablets thanks to its effectiveness. It ensures pandemic protocols can be observed to protect the vulnerable by removing the need for residents to leave the facility for healthcare appointments.

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. HoloLens 2 is also providing valuable support for our staff and offering peace of mind to residents’ families.”

Kendal Care Home has been working with local GPs, Kendal Integrated Care Community and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to train staff in the use of the headset.

Alex Montgomery, director of Azure product marketing, which is part of Microsoft, added: “Kendal Care Home’s use of HoloLens 2 is a great example of how Microsoft’s mixed-reality headset can support collaboration without boundaries. Because the device is hands-free, it allows healthcare staff to fully focus on their patients or residents, while support from colleagues, GPs or specialists can be obtained in seconds via Teams. It’s great to see HoloLens 2 is having such a positive impact among care home staff and residents.”

The home is not the first facility to adopt the HoloLens to support healthcare teams. Both the Heart Centre at Alder Hey and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust used HoloLens 2 to support healthcare during the Covid pandemic.

While Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust were amongst a small number of trusts selected September last year for a national trial involving the HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist.