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Google Glass Passes IRB Muster, Assists in Cardiothoracic Surgeries

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, November 26, 2013

Surgeons are justifiably excited by the possibilities of using Google Glass in the operating room. Despite Wi-Fi hurdles, privacy concerns, and speech recognition issues, this device will inevitably become another indispensable tool in healthcare.

Forget the new iPhone. The gift every healthcare technologist wants under his or her tree next month is Google Glass.

Suddenly, talk of Glass in healthcare is snowballing. It's the newest bright shiny object in tech, and we're hearing it could be a panacea for all that ails healthcare—unusable software, patients irritated by doctors glancing at their screens or iPhones, even infections spread by lack of handwashing and further spread by the vector of the keyboard.

Whoa. Not so fast.

Google Glass is undoubtedly a cool step forward in healthcare technology. For one thing, it's the latest marketing tool for the very modern hospital. Second, it's from Google – a company that has already changed the practice of medicine forever. Show me a physician who hasn't Googled something as part of their day's work, and I'll show you an out-of-touch physician.

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7 comments on "Google Glass Passes IRB Muster, Assists in Cardiothoracic Surgeries"


Frank Poggio (12/3/2013 at 8:40 PM)
Mr. Kottners comment is interesting, but seems to relate to a teaching situation. Seems to me unless GG is less expensive than a video cam with Inet transmission, where's the real savings? I am sure it's cool to wear a camera on your head...but the ROI?

NHtraumadoc (12/3/2013 at 3:15 PM)
The solution you use of scrubbing patient ID off of images that are being used real-time for patient care is a dangerous one. We must always know that we are looking at the correct patient's data when we use it for patient care. It would be impossible to know whose xray is being displayed if it is anonymous. That should be a concern of the IRB if it hasn't been addressed.

Christian Assad Kottner (12/2/2013 at 5:53 PM)
I was recently involved in a procedure in which we were transmitting a PFO closure with an amplatzer device with Google glass. The telementor was an expert in the subject and he gave us priceless adgice. In addition this was the first time the procedure was being performed in the university. His advice proved to be extremely useful