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Google Glass Medical Pioneers Balance Technology and Marketing

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, August 28, 2013

Some early adopters in the surgical suite are pushing ahead with efforts to capitalize on the promise of Google's revolutionary hands-free tool.

When new technology is still in its infancy, years can pass before it is widely accepted among health systems and hospitals, and even longer before the technology is a component of an organization's marketing strategy. A perfect example is the iPad.

The popular tablet computer debuted three years ago and is widely used by consumers, small businesses, and other organizations, such as schools. Hospitals are not on the bandwagon, yet, though. Safety and quality concerns rightly outweigh promoting something that isn't fully vetted for the healthcare industry. So healthcare has some catching up to do before the iPad is widely adopted.

But Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has found a way to boost its reputation as a technology pioneer with Google Glass, without endorsing Silicon Valley's hottest tech gadget, which isn't even available for distribution yet.

The wearable and interactive computer, browser, and camera (still and video) promises to revolutionize the way information is sent and shared. The video function, which is hands-free, has implications for academic medical centers like Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center because it means giving more medical students a precise line of sight during surgery.

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