How Google Glass Could Save Lives In The Hospital ER

Google suspended commercial production of Google Glass in January, despite copious media attention, largely because few normal consumers saw a compelling reason to buy the $1,500 computerized eyewear.

But not everyone thinks Google Glass is useless. Major hospitals have been experimenting with the use of Google Glass since the first prototype was released in 2013.

The latest evidence for Glass’s utility in the medical field is a study by a team at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, which has used Google Glass to help diagnose and treat patients arriving at the hospital ER with symptoms of poisoning.

For the study, emergency room residents confronting a case of suspected poisoning would first call a toxicology expert on the telephone, as usual, to reach a preliminary diagnosis. But they would then don a specially programmed Google Glass and go to the patient’s bedside to stream video, audio and photos of the patient to the expert in real time.

The study’s authors reported on the results of 18 such consultations. The information from Glass led the remote experts to change their diagnosis in four of these cases, and to change their therapeutic recommendation in 10 of the cases, or 56 percent.

Dr. Edward Boyer, one of the authors, told The Huffington Post in an email that Glass is particularly well-suited to toxicology because diagnosing the cause of a poisonings is largely done using visual cues, in contrast to other specialties that rely more on diagnostic testing.

“Glass allows a detailed image of the clinical findings of the physical examination to be transmitted to an expert,” Boyer explained. “Instead of hearing a doctor say, ‘I don’t know what he’s got, but he looks weird,’ I can now see specific traits in a patient with red, —> Read More