This year Google rolled out its new product Google Glass to not only the techies but to surgeons. The benefits to using this technology in surgery are endless. In August, cardiothoracic surgeon Pierre Theodore performed used Google Glass to view his patient’s X-rays while simultaneously removing the fluid from a deflated lung. Normally, if he wanted to refer to any images during a procedure, he would have to turn away from the patient and/or login to another system. With Google Glass, he can simply move his gaze to the corner of his vision and access all the images he needs. The glasses’s ability to record video makes it a wonderful teaching tool so medical students and residents can watch complex surgeries live and up close.
In addition, this technology can be harnessed for collaboration on highly specialized surgeries or for patient consults between physicians here and in more remote places of the world. This would greatly enhance patient care on a global scale. Of course, the incorporation of any new technology brings up issues of privacy. However, because this technology will not be immediately integrated due to limited availability and a lack of teaching programs for its use, there is time to establish the appropriate rules and regulations. Google Glass is more than just the new gadget to get addicted to – it will likely be the next big change in healthcare.
Check out these docs casually using Google Glass as a proof of concept for its use in hospitals:
1. What are other benefits and issues that accompany Google Glass in a healthcare setting?
2. Although Google Glass is $1,500 right now, it will soon retail somewhere from $300-$400. At this price, who will have access to it?
3. Will Google Glass be a staple for all physicians or mainly for surgeons?
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