Google Glass’ Potential to Improve Healthcare Industry
The revolutionary potential behind NEC member Google’s Google Glass seems to keep growing. The glasses, that are essentially a hands-free and wearable computer, allow both professionals from various industries and individuals to positively change how they interact with technology. Additionally, the glasses respond to voice commands and feature a trackpad on the frame. For example, the healthcare industry sees the potential for Google Glass to become a teaching tool and a significant improvement in telemedicine.
At Eastern Maine Medical Center students used an iPad to watch and learn from surgeon Rafael Grossman as he performed a medical procedure while streaming the video via Google Glass. In rural areas such as Maine, Google Glass creates the opportunity for more experienced doctors to help guide doctors at remote locations through unfamiliar procedures and advise them on what action to take. Google Glass allows doctors to call up medical information while keeping their hands free to continue the procedure they are working on.
“What you basically have is a platform that can be used in a variety of medical contexts, but especially by those who have to keep their hands sterile, or busy,” said John Halamka, chief information officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, another NEC member, and an emergency medicine physician. Halamka has tried Glass and called it “an engineering masterpiece.” “I love iPads,” he said. “We use iPads extensively in the emergency department. But how can I keep my hands on the patient and my hands on the iPad at the same time? I can’t do it.”
A technological innovation like Google Glass has the ability to improve both doctors’ and patients’ lives by helping to deliver a higher quality of care. Additionally, it has the potential to also improve the quality of training the next generation of healthcare professionals receives that will continue to strengthen the field in the long run. The New England Council applauds Google for developing this technology.