NEW YORK – While Google Glass may have fallen out of favor among the hippest technologists and those that follow them, the wearable technology has found a second life in emergency medicine.
Google Glass can be an effective tool for bringing “virtual specialists” to emergency room patients, a University of Massachuttes Medical School professor told CNBC. UMass uses Glass to “beam our virtual specialists down to us in the emergency department so that we’re able to have specialists see people at the bedside without really being there,” Dr. Peter R. Chai, assistant professor of emergency medicine, told CNBC’s “The Spark.”
Dr. Peter R. Chai. Source: CNBC
In a study co-authored by Chai and published last August in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, ER physicians wore Google Glass and evaluated the patients at bedside while a secure video feed was sent to the toxicology supervising consultant. Emergency medicine residents at UMass Memorial Medical Center performed 18 toxicology consults with Google Glass.
The supervising consultants would use text messages displayed on Glass to guide residents; the consultants also obtained static photos of medication bottles, electrocardiograms (EKG) and other pertinent information. This was done in addition to the standard verbal consult available to residents.
Additional data collected showed that the use of Google Glass also changed management of patient care in more than half of the cases seen, UMass reported. Six of the study patients received antidotes they otherwise would not have while Overall, 89% of the cases seen with Glass were considered successful by the consulting toxicologist.
“As an emergency medical physician, one of the things we’re always interested in is how we can get specialists to the bedside faster to improve the care that we render to patients,” Chai told CNN.
Consulting toxicologists reported being more confident in diagnosing poisonings using Google Glass.
Google Glass isn’t the only augmented reality headset in the medical world. Microsoft partnered with Case Western Reserve University to show how its HoloLens AR headset could be used to teach medicine – instead of using cadavers, students could walk around anatomical models to see how bones, muscles and organs work in context or do simulations.
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times