Google Glass made its debut in a flurry of controversy, offering not just new technological capabilities but also a lot of concern about privacy, the nature of human interaction, and whether we will all soon be assimilated. But Glass wasn’t necessarily made for strolls around the neighborhood and for casual chatting with friends. In medicine, for example, it’s already being investigated in clinical settings to help record patient/doctor interaction, to look up EMR data, and to query the Internet for relevant information.
At the Children’s Hospital of Westchester Medical Center in New York State, researchers have been evaluating Google Glass for use in a pediatric surgical practice. They wanted to see whether the new technology would be appropriate, comfortable, and potentially useful in such a setting. To that end they used Glass daily for four consecutive weeks while interacting with patients, noting how the device blends into the workflow and what software would make it even more useful. Overall they found great potential in Google Glass, but point out that hardware and software improvements are still required, new apps have to be written, and more consideration needs to be given to how sensitive data is handled.
Some results according to the study abstract:
Wearing Glass throughout the day for the study interval was well tolerated. Colleagues, staff, families and patients overwhelmingly had a positive response to Glass. Useful applications for Glass were hands-free photo/videodocumentation, making hands-free telephone calls, looking up billing codes, and internet searches for unfamiliar medical terms or syndromes. Drawbacks encountered with the current equipment were low battery endurance, data protection issues, poor overall audio quality, as well as long transmission latency combined with interruptions and cut-offs during internet videoconferencing.
International Journal of Surgery: Google Glass in pediatric surgery: An exploratory study
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