Yesterday we touched upon “wearable computers” with sensor-containing hosiery  called Smart Socks.  This follows on the heels of Google Glass, an innovative device that masquerades as a pair of eyeglasses.

Google Glass is very versatile, able to easily interface with both IOS and Android devices, as well as cameras.  It is Wifi and Bluetooth enabled and has both a heads-up display and voice-activation.

Though Google Glass has not yet been released, many people have been using it in Beta testing with personalized goals.  Some physicians have been able to get their hands on a pair, putting it through its paces. The benefits to medicine are numerous and dramatic.

15 Possibilities for medical use

Applications in healthcare with Google Glass can be used for:

  • Caregivers and visiting nurses who make house calls to homebound individuals.  Treatment and therapy recommendations from various specialists are accessible in addition to medications that the patients are taking.  Any rashes or wounds are imaged and streamed back to physicians for further advice.
  • Nurses who can scan drugs to be administered to patients, ensuring that they are appropriate and the right dose, prior to administration, cutting out medical mistakes
  • Pharmacists can scan drugs that are prescribed, contrasting it to the patient’s history and FDA data to ensure that the patient can tolerate both the medication and the dose.
  • A surgeon transmits images in real-time in rural areas or other countries, getting instant feedback as to appropriate technique and steps to take during the operation.  Residents and medical students are able to see the surgery live without scrubbing in. (making the procedures in the text books come alive)
  • Data exchange between residents and attending physicians for betterment of patient care.  The residents making rounds enable the attending physician to “see” what is going on with the patient’s condition and allows the doctor to make recommendations to the residents.  The attending physician can also make suggestions on what tests or further evaluation to perform as well as helping with the differential diagnosis.
  • Takes bedside consultations to the next level as physicians confer with specialists who are not on premises.
  • Any physician making rounds on a patient in house can have instant access to vital signs, lab results and radiological imaging so that the course of treatment as well as new options may be exercised.
  • Emergency medical responders reaching the scene of  an accident or medical crisis  can live stream information to the emergency room so that the appropriate team is prepared for the patient’s arrival.
  • A surgeon or oncologist can demonstrate location and extent of surgery or cancer to the patient and the patient’s family
  • An endocrinologist can see the pattern of glucose numbers when monitoring current sugar levels
  • Pain management physicians can see how effective therapy has been and whether there are pain patterns that can be treated accordingly to pare down on medications
  • Physiatrists can easily compare the current range of motion for various joints to previous actions, noting whether there is improvement or not
  • Electronic health records are readily available so that diagnostic tests do not have to be repeated and results are on hand
  • Cardiologists can view current EKG results and see if the pattern has changed in real time as well as blood flow studies.
  • Dermatologists off medical facility grounds can see the rashes on patients that present, and give advice as to what the cause may be and how to treat them

Google Glass can cut down on medical errors and mistakes which do happen in hospital settings. The applications in advancement of medical treatment as well as the access to appropriate treatments is endless, limited only by our imagination!

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