The Victorian Government has announced a new holographic health service which is says will allow people in rural areas to get access to high-quality specialist health care.
Worn as a headset by a nurse and virtually guided by a doctor in a separate location, HoloLens is a mixed-reality holographic computer that gives patients a level of care that the Government says is closer to an in-person examination than a regular telehealth appointment.
It allows specialists to examine the patient virtually, with a range of inbuilt overlays such as mapping technology where they can trace the extent of a wound, assess how an infection or injury is healing and use their index fingers to draw virtual diagrams.
Minister for Health, Mary-Anne Thomas says residents across East Gippsland can now access care through the rollout of the HoloLens.
“Patients recover much better at home, but that’s only possible if we’re providing them with high-quality healthcare services right at their doorstep,” the Minister said.
“That’s why we’re making investments in technology like the HoloLens – so more rural and regional Victorians can get the specialist care they need either in their community.”
Traditionally used in the military, construction and even in video gaming, the recent trial of HoloLens in East Gippsland is believed to be the first use of this technology in a virtual care setting.
Under the trial by Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, local patients attended holographic consulting rooms at a number of bush nursing centres and other health services across East Gippsland.
Following the successful trial, 11 new HoloLens devices have been deployed across East Gippsland with 25 clinicians now trained in its use for enhanced telehealth, with home visits for HoloLens treatment to be rolled out soon.
“It’s great to see Bairnsdale Regional Health Service embrace new technology like this to make sure even the most remote communities are getting the best possible care,” said Member for Eastern Victoria, Tom McIntosh.