Google Glass – Day 3 – Future Applications for Healthcare

July 9, 2013

On day 3, I brought Glass to work and introduced it to my staff and others at the hospital. Unfortunately, I could not connect to the internet thru Glass. The private wireless network did not allow a connection from the device and the public network requires browser authentication (like many airports and hotels) which is not possible in Glass. So the main demo was videos and photos I had already taken and demonstrating how to take photos and videos or having Glass read aloud alerts, such as, those from the New York Times.

So what applications are there for medicine and healthcare for this device? Already there are many ideas coming forward:

Other possibilites include real-time consults using Google Hangouts. This might be particularly effective in complex cases where the camera could be effectively used, such as, dermatology and wound care or my colleagues in ostomy care.
My final query is: who will develop the first healthcare app for Glass? Will it be an adaption of an existing wellness app involving diet and exercise or a medical reference app? By the way, medical reference at least on a basic level could already be experimented with using the Google search feature of Glass and realizing that the the answers will be brief.  Could medical calculators based on voice commands be apps? Would they be sufficiently accurate? Will apps be created which require FDA approval? How about patients wearing Glass to evaluate physician communication and the patient experience for training new medical professionals or seasoned ones?
Obviously, this technology is at an early but exciting stage. In healthcare, concerns about privacy abound, but as it becomes more common and the owner can explain how it is being used, there will develop a level of comfort, just as a skilled provider explaining the use of a computer in the exam room. The possibilities are only limited by the first 8000 Glass Explorers and those who will follow.


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