Pennard Vets in UK-first trial of smart glasses

VetCT has announced the initial results from the first UK trial of smart glasses in a vet practice situation.

The veterinary teleradiology and tele consulting company has teamed up with Pennard Vets in Kent for the trial, which had already shown potential for real-time feedback and advice with the hands-free videography device.

It is the first report of the Google Glass being used in a veterinary clinic in the UK, and allows for remote line-of-sight visualisation. The device includes in-built speakers, a microphone and a small screen in the corner of the glasses for real-time visual and audio feedback.

Specialist knowledge

Images from the glasses were live-streamed from the clinical team at Pennard Vets, Sevenoaks, to a remote team of specialists from VetCT. Higher resolution images from a mobile phone camera were also streamed for comparison.

The remote VetCT specialist was able to view both and remotely record, zoom, adjust lighting, annotate and send images back for the wearer of the glasses to view. They were also able to discuss the case live with the team in the clinic.

Director and innovation lead at VetCT Julien Labruyère said: “We have a tremendous resource of specialist knowledge and expertise within our global team, and are exploring new ways to maximise the potential benefits of real-time clinical mentoring, teaching and case support.

“This first step we have taken with Google Glass marks the start of an exciting journey to make smart glasses technology useful to help vets in practice.”

‘Fascinating exercise’

Dr Labruyère added: “We believe the future of veterinary care is through improving the support we can provide to clinical teams wherever they may be located. Although there are some limitations with the current technology, it presents an exciting opportunity for our tele consulting service. The next stages of development will take us to new levels of patient care.”

Caroline Collins, director at Pennard Vets, said: “We’re keen to explore innovation that supports our team and provides benefits for our clients and patients. Trialling the glasses has been a fascinating exercise.

“We’re now looking at cases where we could see the most benefit from real-time specialist feedback and hands-free capability. It could be a real game-changer in some situations, for example with remote guidance of patient examinations or complex procedures.”

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