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Google Glass Passes IRB Muster, Assists in Cardiothoracic Surgeries

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, November 26, 2013

"We did a series of dry lab experimentations to demonstrate that hand-eye coordination and the distraction using the Glass was minimal, and that the images could be readily brought up and removed from the vision of the surgeon," Theodore says. "We sought limited use in a single specialty for the first pilot trials, and we set certain metrics and aims."

Wi-Fi and Privacy Considerations
Among the early findings: operating rooms contain lots of equipment that interferes with Wi-Fi. Google Glass depends upon Wi-Fi to receive data, so data transfer protocols may need to be more forgiving, and the need for a more robust Wi-Fi infrastructure is clear. (That's a subject I'll write in another column.)

It's clear that it's still early days for this technology. Technicians are required to magnify images. "Down the road what will be important is the hands-free manipulation, so no additional technician will be required to project the images," Theodore says.

Despite the initial security precautions already taken, Theodore is concerned about Glass data that lives in the cloud, and moves over the Internet. "A lot of this information is actually transferred over networks, of which certain portions of those networks can be less than perfectly secure," he says. "That of course becomes more and more important as we think about transferring information over a whole variety of wireless networks."

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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