Demise of Google Glass nothing but a rumor

For two years FierceMobileHealthcare has been writing and reporting on Google Glass and how the optical head-mount wearable is making slow and steady advances into the medical and surgical arenas. The mHealth tool has been in healthcare and beta pilots since it moved into public view, from pediatric surgeries at Oliver Muensterer of Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York to the more well-known and highly successful pilot program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's emergency department.

So it had become worrisome when Google Glass started to fade from view late this summer, with some media reports going as far to claim Google was shelving computing wearable and developers were walking away from Glass app development.

The latest death knell report was just last week, courtesy of MIT's Technology Review. 

"The computer you wear on your face is falling to its death," according to the report, which goes on to note that companies aren't building apps, the Glass creator left Google and early adopters are no longer enthralled with the tool. The report essentially says that while Glass paved the road for smart glasses technology, it's being tossed aside as new innovations come into play.

But, actually, the death knell has not rung for Google Glass at all. As Pierre Theodore writes in a New York Times commentary, Google Glass and other smart glasses innovation are not only alive and thriving, they're bound to bring even greater innovation in the next few years.

"Head-mounted technologies can allow surgeons access to multiple data sources for planning and performance of intricate procedures," Theodore writes.

How amazing is that for healthcare? How can anyone claim Google Glass, its development, its importance and its potential is anything but bright moving forward? Google may not be slamming out press releases and running media events on how and where Glass is changing the healthcare environment, but it's clearly nowhere near dead and it's creating greater innovation in wearable mobile technology.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that Intel is partnering with Google with plans to implant an Intel chip into a new version of Google Glass. The WSJ cites an analyst who says it's a "win-win" for Intel, for Google, and in my opinion, a huge win for the healthcare industry.

Not only isn't Google Glass dead or being put up on a shelf, the infusion of Intel's participation, given the chip maker's strong desire in becoming a wearable tech player, is a huge step for Glass' future. And that's promising for mHealth innovation moving forward. It's the best early holiday gift the healthcare industry could have asked for.

- Judy (@JudyMottl and @FierceHealthIT)