Google Glass Can Improve Efficiency of Spinal Surgery Interview with:
Professor Philip Breedon
Professor of smart technologies
Nottingham Trent University
Design for Health and Wellbeing Research Group 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Prof. Breedon: This report presented an innovative approach of enhancing the efficiency of spinal surgery by utilizing the technological capabilities and design functionalities of wearable headsets, in this case Google Glass. The overall aim was to improve the efficiency of the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy ( SDR) neurosurgical procedure through the use of Google Glass via an innovative approach to information design for the intraoperative monitoring display.

Medical Research: How does the integration of Google Glass improve the spinal surgery procedure?

Prof. Breedon: It was identified that during the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure that the neurosurgeon has to communicate with a neurophysiologist across the operating theatre to identify sensory nerves. This could result in inefficiency’s in communication and possibility for the neurosurgeon of over sectioning or under sectioning a particular nerve. The use of Glass in SDR could help to resolve these issues allowing the neurosurgeon to view the EMG responses directly rather than an external intraoperative monitor whilst allowing the surgeon to totally focus on the procedure.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from this development?

Prof. Breedon: The use and integration of this type technology has huge benefits for these surgical procedures. The potential benefits of wearable technology within the operating theatre should be widely disseminated so that healthcare professionals  and patients are aware of how effective and what benefits this type of technology can offer.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This research provides another good example of why designers and the healthcare professions should collaborate, to promote, innovate and meet the ever-demanding needs for safer and more efficient health care treatments that would benefit from the introduction of new technologies. Further research is also taking place into the use of wearable technology for other surgical procedures.


From Nottingham Trent University news


Professor Philip Breedon (2015). Google Glass Can Improve Efficiency of Spinal Surgery 

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