Google Glass might prove useful for consumers, but a set of futuristic spectacles have been invented for doctors and nurses that let them see through patients’ skin.
The new glasses have been designed to allow medical professionals to more easily locate veins for intravenous (IV) treatments.
Two companies behind innovation and claim it makes IV access fast, accurate and precise, which could result in better patient care when the glasses are used in hospitals.
The Eyes-On Glasses System that is used to detect veins has been developed by Evena Medical, an imaging technology firm based in Silicon Valley and Japanese electronics company Epson.
They said the glasses are ‘one of the first healthcare applications of smart glasses commercially on a global scale’ as well as the first point-of-care wearable system of hands-free real-time vascular imaging.
The glasses are designed to be worn by nurses at the bedside to quickly visualise a patient’s veins and to make intravenous access, ‘fast accurate and precise’.
In a promotional video, Evena Medical said its technology means nurses will no longer have to guess which vein is best and the glasses will probably reduce the amount of failed attempts to access a blood vessel, which can be unpleasant for patients.
The company said it allows medical practitioners to ‘access the best vein for every patient every time.’
The system is based on Evena Medical’s bulkier vascular imaging technology that shows the veins beneath a patient’s skin on a large screen, but now the image can be projected onto the head-mounted display of the glasses.
It is hands free and ‘projects overlays of digital content onto the real-world in the centre of the wearer’s field of view … enabling a seamless blend of the physical and digital worlds,’ according to the company.
The smart spectacles allow medical practitioners to store images and videos and share them remotely via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G.
A power supply and belt-mounted computer keeps the glasses lightweight, while multi spectral lighting (which emulates good quality natural light) allows them to pick out fine details ‘on and beneath the skin’.
‘Studies have shown that up to 40 per cent of IV starts require multiple attempts to locate and access a vein, which not only wastes valuable nursing time but also delays therapy and causes patient discomfort and dissatisfaction,’ said Evena CEO Frank Ball.
‘With Evena’s Eyes-On Glasses, nurses can quickly and easily locate and access the best veins for each patient—even in challenging clinical environments.’
The glasses will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2014, according to Digital Trends.