How Google Glass will transform healthcare

Sharing learning and insight using Google Glass is one of many ways this innovative technology is helping to transform healthcare. The voice-activated glasses, which feature a tiny display above the wearer’s eyes, can record video and live-stream the user’s direct view.

Earlier this year, The Royal London Hospital became the first in the UK to broadcast a live surgical procedure online using Google Glass. The procedure was watched live by 13,000 surgical students from 115 countries. Mr Shafi Ahmed, Colorectal Cancer Lead at Barts Health NHS Trust performed the surgery. “I am delighted that by using Google Glass technology we are transporting our future surgeons directly into the operating theatre. Using this technology will support us to deliver high-quality and safe care now and into the future.”

Examples of areas where Google Glass is transforming healthcare include:

Telemedicine – The scope of the glassware’s use in telemedicine is vast. It can provide synchronous video conversations with physicians at remote locations. Additionally, procedures can be remotely conducted, recorded and embedded in patient records for future reference. Physicians can also consult with specialists located anywhere in the world in real-time.

Resident training – Google Glass uniquely enables the user to take in a resident physician’s perspective while operating on a patient. This allows surgeons to understand how well the procedure is being executed. Surgeons at the department of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University Medical Center use glassware to train residents on surgical procedures. Open communication between surgeons and residents is vital as part of training and improvement of procedures. Using CrowdOptics software, surgeons are able to watch the progress of residents and provide visual feedback on their technique.

Improving the patient experience – With Google Glass, patients can receive world-class care from the comfort of their homes. Specialists can be summoned remotely by doctors located anywhere in the world. This offers the best patient experience possible. The use of Google Glass will provide better-coordinated care and better outcomes including reduced costs and fewer GP visits.

“The healthcare applications are wide-ranging, insightful and impactful, from enabling hands-free real-time access to clinical and patient information, to the transmission of point of view audio and video for surgical research and educational purposes,” said Mark Taglietti, head of ICT delivery services at London University College Hospitals. “Glass marks the beginning of a truly remarkable journey for technical innovation within healthcare, enabling providers to improve the delivery of care and patient experience.”