Billings Clinic uses wearable tech to see what nurses see

Montana State University and Billings (Mont.) Clinic have teamed up on a research effort to see what their nurses see — literally, according to NBC affiliate KULR-8 News. 

Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, BSN, an assistant professor at Montana State University, created glasses with 16 cameras for nurses to wear during shifts. 

One of the study's main goals is to see whether nurses identified and asked patients about a special wristband they were wearing. The wristband, invented by Dr. Johnson, contains a QRS code that clinicians can scan to see what clinical trial a patient is participating in and its guidelines. The goal is to increase communication between researchers and clinicians and prevent patients from receiving medications that could require their removal from the trial. 

"So, what I am doing through this study is seeing … how quickly nurses are able to find it," Dr. Johnson said of the wristband. "Or how should I adapt my design through nursing input? So, this is a fun study in the fact that nurses are designing a technology that we're going to use and advocate for our patients to use."

Jamie Besel, PhD, MN, RN, a research scientist at Billings Clinic, said the study will also help identify areas to improve nurse education by seeing what nurses are and aren't focusing on during shifts. 

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