The Future of Surgery

Hartford Hospital Uses Google Glass

For those of us who thought Google Glass was just another fun toy that Google came up with, it’s time to reconsider. Google Glass is more than a computer – it’s a professional tool that can even be used in surgery. 

What is Google Glass?

Google Glass is an advanced type of technology that is wearable by mounting the product on the head to view images through an optical glass in a hands-free format, allowing the user to communicate with the Internet using voice command. They were first sold to only qualified “Glass Explorers,” then became available to the public on May 15th, 2014.

How could Google Glass Change the Medical Profession?

Accessing patients’ vital signs: Thanks to Google Glass, doctors can view a patient’s vital signs no matter the physician’s location inside the hospital. Whether walking down the hall in a separate wing or in the middle of surgery, physicians can check a patient’s vital signs, increasing patient safety and overall well being.

Availability of patient data: Because Google Glass makes patient data more readily accessible, surgeons can view details of a patient’s health history without looking away from the operating table. In a sanitized operating room environment, this hands-free technology is irreplaceable.

Live video conferences: Video conferences are made easier when physicians can be dressing for surgery and still consulting with fellow surgeons about a difficult case. The more the merrier, including more minds working on medical cases to ensure patients’ health.

Training videos: Education is a worldwide endeavor, and Google Glass makes international training available. For example, in India, foot and ankle surgery is approximately forty years behind the US; Google Glass surgery recordings, easily uploaded to the Internet, can lessen this gap by training other physicians.

Google Glass in Surgery: Pros and Cons

As with any technology, there are pros and cons to Google Glass’s medical involvement. Some reviewers contend that Google Glass will create privacy issues because patient data could be saved to the cloud where others could access it. Despite the concern, supporters say that the benefits are crucial to the medical community. For doctors, world-altering ideas need to be applied and spread quickly, and Google Glass could be the key in life-and-death situations.

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