HealthWACH: Google glass for Dr's

HealthWACH: Google glass for Dr's

COLUMBIA (WACH) - Whether reading social media, checking the weather, or simply checking out the wealth of data out there, many of us spend a significant amount of time glued to our smartphones making it hard to do anything else. Google Glass might offer a solution to this problem, giving us a way to use the outboard brain of the internet while still being able to do other things. According to Google, Glass was created â??to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you donâ??t.â?? The first Google Glass units have been with early explorers since April. Google is using this semi-public testing period to fine tune the device for general consumption, as well as get consumers used to the idea of wearables.

Google Glass is a wearable Android-powered computer built like a pair of eyeglasses so that you can place a display in your field of vision, take pictures, film, search and translate on the go as well as run specially-designed apps. Google Glass uses a tiny display to put data in front of your vision courtesy of a prism screen. It responds to voice commands as well as taps and gestures on the touch-sensitive bar that runs along the side of the frame. You can start a search by saying, â??Ok Glass,â?? and take a photo or launch an app with a command phrase or tap of the finger. The early Google Glass apps provide a glimpse into the potential of the headset. For example, The New York Times has demoed an app that will pop up news headlines on request and JetBlue has suggested that it could create an app to show how much time was left before you had to board your flight.

Google Glass in the medical world has potential benefits and pitfalls. If a surgeon was in the middle of surgery and came across an unexpected condition, like a rare tumor, the doctor could use real-time video to show it to the worldâ??s expert and receive help. With the eye-level screen, a doctor could instantly see relevant parts of a patientâ??s chart or lab results. It could also be used to teach. However, there are technical issues that make it less than ideal in the OR, as well as difficult privacy concerns. For example, there are federal privacy laws that govern against the transmission of patient information, like videos or photographs. Other privacy issues come up just from wearing the device. If a doctor were to wear them down a hallway at their hospital, then they could be accused of violating privacy. So far, medical professional societies havenâ??t issued guidelines for using the device, which is still experimental. Companies are working on add-ons and apps to make Glass useful in the medical world.