5 ways Google Glass will innovate healthcare

Google Glass--no longer just a hopeful idea or cool trend--is slowly but surely disrupting healthcare for the better as various innovators come up with creative ways to use the technology and get results.

Most notably, as reported earlier this week, in the latest post to his Life As a Healthcare CIO blog, John Halamka, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and a FierceHealthIT Advisory Board member, discusses how Google Glass improves the lives of patients at BIDMC.

Over the past four months, Halamka says, he and his colleagues piloted projects that they believe will improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. One of his colleagues, emergency physician Steve Horng, M.D., calls the user experience "fundamentally different" than tablet or smartphone usage. "As a wearable device that is always on and ready, it has remarkably streamlined clinical workflows that involve information gathering," Horng tells Halamka.

But Google Glass also impacts healthcare in other ways. In a postBionicly outlines eight advancements--here are a few:

  1. Mobile access to patient images and information: OneDx, a software platform, allows physicians to access medical reports, inpatient location and exam information on Glass. Docs can download studies, reports and exams on the go.
  2. Glass can receive EHRs on the go: Augmedix is building clinical applications for Glass to allow doctors to retrieve and input information into a patient's medical record, Bionicly reports.
  3. Getting fit with Glass: An augmented reality app in development, called Race Yourself, lets users run against themselves and beat personal fitness goals.
  4. Glass in class--for medical education: Christopher Keading, M.D., at the Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center, was one of the first to livestream an operation when he performed knee surgery on a 47-year-old woman, Bionicly reports. Clinicians can use Glass to teach medical classes to students geographically far from a professor.
  5. Glass for Parkinson's sufferers: According to Bionicly, Newcastle University in the U.K. is developing a new app for Glass to help Parkinson's patients. The app provides the patients with prompts while they're outdoors, contacts relatives in emergencies and has reminders in the user's field of vision--such as when to take their medication--to help them gain independence.

As reported in March, Rhode Island Hospital in Providence appears poised to become the first hospital in the nation to test Google Glass for real-time emergency room care, according to a report by the Providence Journal.

In a six-month pilot, the hospital will use the tool to stream live images of patient medical conditions to remote consulting specialists. In particular, the pilot will focus on ER patients with skin conditions who agree to participate in the study.

To learn more:
- see the full post in Bionicly

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