Google Glass In the Operating Room: Promising, With Room for Improvement

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Dr. Oliver Muensterer MD Ph.D Division of Pediatric Surgery New York Medical College Maria Fareri Children's Hospital of Westchester Medical Center Valhalla, NY 10595, USAOliver Muensterer MD Ph.D
Division of Pediatric Surgery
New York Medical College
Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital of Westchester Medical Center
Valhalla, NY 10595, USA

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Muensterer: We looked at the functionality of Google Glass, a novel head-mounted mobile computer with integrated display, camera, microphone, and speaker, in the clinical environment. While the technology has a lot of promise to be useful for pediatric surgeons, in its current version, it also has significant limitations. The most obvious utilities are hands-free photo- and videodocumentation, looking up medical terminology on the internet, help with coding and billing activities, and hands-free telecommunication.


MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Muensterer: The way Glass handles information made us take certain steps to protect patient privacy. Usually, all acquired images and videos are automatically uploaded to the Google cloud. Because we were concerned that this information could potentially end up on an unsecured server, we disabled the internet connection when taking images of patients.

Also, the batteries did not last very long when we were using Glass to record movies or for videoconferencing.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Muensterer: This is promising technology, but before it can become mainstream in clinical medicine, some drawbacks must be addressed. More apps for medical purposes must be written, and the issue of data privacy must be solved.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Muensterer: There are a number of applications that we can envision in the future where Glass would be very helpful. These include procedural training, telementoring, having pertinent information projected on the head-mount display in real time, for example. This technology has great potential to really impact positively on patient care in the future.

Citation:

Google Glass in pediatric surgery: An exploratory study
Oliver J. Muensterer, Martin Lacher, Christoph Zoeller, Matthew Bronstein, Joachim Kübler

International Journal of Surgery
Volume 12, Issue 4, 2014, Pages 281–289