Does Google Glass Have (Medical) Potential?

By on March 7, 2014
New medical technologies show that Google Glass has the potential to help doctors during surgery.

New medical technologies show that Google Glass has the potential to help doctors during surgery.

We’ve all used it as a verb. Have a question? Google it. Need a recipe? Google it. Don’t want to get lost going to that restaurant (you found by Google-ing)? Google the map. But do you really want to hear your doctor use that verb?

“Don’t worry sir, if we run into any problems with your surgery we can immediately Google it,” or, “Miss, we aren’t sure if you have that deadly disease. We will know once we Google it.”

All joking aside, researchers have found a few ways to use Google Glass, the newest addition to the tech world, in the field of medicine. Let’s get straight what the apparatus is before we discuss how it can be used medically.

Google Glass allows the user to interact with a mobile, glasses-based computer that projects an image in the top right of the glass lenses. It has voice recognition, is wireless enabled and can be used for pictures and video recording.

Surgeons – in theory – would be able to use the device during surgery to view imaging results. For example, during knee replacement surgery the orthopedic surgeon would be able to see MRI images of the patient while performing the procedure.

Additionally, Google Glass could be used potentially as a diagnostic tool. Companies are producing apps that can help clinicians utilize QR reader technology embedded in the Google Glass technology to help read lab test results in a matter of seconds.

This sounds good on the surface, but as skeptical as we were, we asked a local physician his thoughts on the subject of Google Glass and medicine.

“While I see a lot of potential of Google Glass in the field of medicine, like the iPad when it first came out, it took some time for us doctors and other health professions to figure out how to best deploy its benefits factoring in cost, need and utility,” said Robert Duhaney, M.D., of Texas Health Physicians Group. “Nevertheless, it looks like Google Glass is something to keep our eyes on in the near future.”

Still, these new medical technologies are exciting to see how they unfold to better healthcare in the U.S.

Amy, born and raised in the Dallas area, has been forced (not really) to live in Houston for the past 12 years. A seasoned writer and editor, she was finally allowed to move back. While living in Houston she worked for a few magazines here and there. Although editing paid the bills, writing has always been her first love.

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