Wearable Tech World Feature Article
September 22, 2014

Google Glass Showing Big Time Potential in Surgical Theater

While there are plenty of people who see Google Glass as nothing more than a piece of wearable tech that looks kind of goofy,  the technology is plenty useful now and will be plenty useful in the future. Researchers at Stanford University are looking to see just how useful the tech actually is, and they have found a partner in VitalMedicals in order to see how Google Glass can help during medical procedures.

In particular, the company is looking to see whether Google Glass streaming a patient’s vitals to the doctor operating on that patient can help keep people safer. The study is also investigating other medical uses for the high tech wearable glasses. In order to carry out the study, being lead by the Stanford University School of Medicine and VitalMedicals had surgery residents carrying out simulated procedures wearing Google Glass with an application called VitalStream being turned on and turned off.

With VitalStrem turned on, results showed there was an actual benefit to wearing Google Glass while carrying out medical procedures. The device ends up bringing doctors quite a bit more information when it comes to situational awareness and patient safety. One particular procedure, a simulated bronchoscopy, the group saw critical desaturation 8.8 seconds earlier than the control group. The same team found that during a thoracotomy tube placement, doctors were able to recognize hypotension 10.5 seconds earlier than they would have otherwise.

Both of these early warning signs are ones that could actually mean the difference between life and death or at the very least, debilitating injuries. This seems to be in large part because those working on the patients didn’t have to look up at traditional monitors while they were concentrating on those patients. The full paper will be published soon, but the study seems to indicate that entertainment venues might not like the device but the medical field is certainly embracing Google Glass.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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