Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Google Glass in Healthcare: Six Perspectives

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This post was contributed by @MikeMadarasz 

Google Glass is still in its Beta Period meaning many physicians will be have to settle for peer reviews on its practicality in a medical setting.  Fortunately, there is no shortage of opinions from those who have experienced the device.  Here are six different takes on how Google Glass might impact the healthcare industry:  

"It allows me to capture the first-person perspective in both image and video in a medical examination. Patients are impressed by Glass as a new technology and comment on it favorably. Only one or two patients have expressed concerns about privacy," he added, "and we make sure to reassure them that we are using it in a secure manner."
- Dr. Bill Metaxas, Physician, Foot and Ankle Institute of San Francisco via                                   InformationWeek

Google Glass Healthcare Doctors Opinions Problems Challenges
Will doctors be prescribed Google Glass?
“A big issue with Glass is how to handle patient privacy, particularly because the device connects to the internet via WiFi and thereby streams its data through Google’s servers. By the way, these issues are the same that currently exist with physicians using their smartphones for applications pertaining to patient care, including taking photos of pertinent findings. It would be great if an encrypted version of Glass were available in the future for medical use, including the exclusive streaming to secure servers.”
- Oliver Muensterer, Lead author of an International Journey of Surgery article on surgical applications for Google Glass

"[Companies experimenting with Google Glass] are making it suitable for health care by removing the Google software and replacing it with medical-grade security. These changes allow medical information to be safely transmitted.”
            - Alfred Anderson III, Technology Director, Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation

“I actually believe wearable computers are going to be a very significant part of healthcareIt's very natural to put on a wearable computer.  As a physician and CIO, I'm very conservative about going to the next technology.  So far it really seems to be, not just cool, but to meet a real need.”
- John Halamka, Chief Information Officer, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center via Modern Healthcare

"[Imagine] you're about to operate on a patient and you're going to give a certain antibiotic, penicillin before the operation and suddenly Google Glass integrated with a patient’s medical record tells you wait hold on the patient is allergic to penicillin…I think that with something like Google Glass integrated to the medical record with artificial intelligence and deep learning systems has the potential to certainly improve on that."
- Dr. Rafael Grossmann, the first general surgeon to use the device in the operating room via CBS News

“There's a lot we need to discuss before it's ready for prime time.  We have been running up against problems from before we even got the device…This is [the hospital IT department’s] nightmare."
- Heather Evans, Surgeon and enthusiastic supporter of Google Glass, University of Washington via medpage Today

Though most of the initial feedback has been positive, there are certainly obstacles that can’t be ignored.  The potential for its value to the healthcare industry appears to be there but as with anything in this space, it may be a matter of navigating some regulatory hurdles first. 

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