Originally published April 25, 2014 on MedTech Boston.
Google Glass, commonly referred to as just “Glass,” has attracted a lot of interest in the medical community because it is a wearable, hands-free technology that has the potential to allow for seamless recording, note-taking, and data-viewing in the operating room or clinic. Five awards were given out at the event to recognize pioneering ideas for using Glass in medicine, with the prize of special consultations with innovation and business experts who can help further these ideas.
Todd A. Theman, a surgical resident in the integrated Harvard Plastic Surgery training program at Harvard Medical School, took home the “Lean and Mean” award for his pitch “Expert on Call,” an idea to use Glass as a tool for physicians in under-resourced areas to connect with specialists for more effective consults. “80 percent of the U.S. landmass has no access to a level one trauma center,” he said during his presentation. “The vast majority of patients don’t need to be transferred such great distances and with great costs.”
The “First Class” award was given to Lilit Sargsyan, a pulmonary and critical care fellow at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, for her pitch “RemoteGuide,” which allows an ultrasound specialist to provide remote expertise to an area that does not have ultrasound experts. She drew from NASA’s remote ultrasound guidance system for inspiration. She also shared a personal story of her grandfather performing an emergent appendectomy via remote telephone guidance to illustrate the life-saving possibilities of improved remote technology.
Timothy Aungst, assistant professor at MCPHS University and editor at imedicalapps.com, won the “Gamechanger” Award for his submission “Bringing the Doctor to the Patient’s Home: Google Glass in VNA Care.” Aungst’s idea is to allow Glass to be used in telemedicine by letting a patient’s progress be evaluated remotely by a doctor. He also discussed the frustrations of providers and patients with phone translation, suggesting that Glass could more seamlessly and realistically integrate this function.
“The patient brings in a piece of paper they wrote in their own language that you can’t read and the translator can’t see,” he said. “You can’t read body language when you’re on a phone.”
His model also calls for using Glass to record the home visit so that a doctor can get a sense of a patient’s environment beyond their medication list. This extra information could be easily uploaded onto the electronic health record (EHR).
“It’s the human element that we really need to treasure,” he said. “To show someone in a natural environment, how they live, translating it back into the service is a really good way for a clinician to understand how a patient is doing.”
Read the rest here on the site MedTech Boston.