Google Glasses and Medical Applications
Dr. Zeldes recently tested Google glasses to explore the possibilities of medical applications. He was among the first physicians in the world to test and use Google Glass – a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display.
Dr. Jennifer Ware, an assistant professor in MSU’s School of Journalism is one of thousands of individuals chosen to beta test the Google Glasses. I would like to give a big thanks to her, for allowing my family and I to experience this technological innovation.
And it was an experience! I was impressed. The glasses were lightweight, comfortable and easily portable. As you can see from the pictures, the glasses have one ocular in the right lens with a small screen in the upper right. The right side of the glasses or the arm of the frames is used as a keypad for scrolling. Like Siri, the glasses respond to simple commands like “take a picture,” or “take video.” The photos and video are good quality.
I believe Google Glasses could make an impact in medicine, particularly in ophthalmology through:
- Improving communication with patients while accessing electronic health records simultaneously: Currently records are on a laptop or desktop computer. There would be an improvement in communication to be able to access the record without being distracted by a computer screen and having to log on different computers. Google Glasses would allow a lightweight, portable option to accessing records. An advantage in a busy clinic setting or rounding in the hospital.
- Imaging: Accessing a previous exam in either a photo or video format would allow simultaneous viewing of a previous and current exam. With the addition of a second ocular or projector, this can be 3 dimensional. This has ophthalmic applications viewing previous slit lamp exams or retinal exams. The Google glass can be used for simultaneously viewing of a patient’s MRI, CT scan or X-ray while performing a physical exam or a surgical procedure.
- Viewing vitals during surgery: A surgeon can simultaneously view a patient’s vital signs while performing surgery.
- Teaching: A 3 D video can be used for teaching purposes. Such as viewing surgery.
- I was hoping to find low vision applications for the glasses, though the screen was much to small for someone with low vision to use.