Google Glass and Emergency Medicine

At the lovely week that was #smaccGOLD I was lucky enough to get some time playing with Google Glass.

Although Google Glass isn’t commercially available yet, it is being beta tested in various sites around the world for numerous potential applications. Here’s what I thought… 

What does it look like?

As you can see from the picture it’s basically a head/faceband with small screen in the top right corner of your right eye. It did fit over my glasses but it’s really made for people without. As time goes on, I guess this will become smaller and more adapted. It fitted fine and there were no problems with seeing the screen.

Tessa Davis Google Glass

What do you actually see?

  • If you look up to the top right you see what is pretty much a small computer screen.
  • It is small enough so as not to be in the way if you’re having a conversation with someone but big enough to be easily readable.

How does it know when you want it to do something?

  • At the moment you say “OK Google Glass” to get its attention, followed by whatever you want it to do.
  • It even recognised my Glaswegian accent without any extra programming/prompting…which is way better than Siri.
  • In the future you will be able to use hand gestures in front of the screen to navigate around, but for now it’s mostly by voice commands. The only exception is that you can blink to take a photo with it (but you have to program it specifically for your eye size/shape).

What can it do?

  • It is an extension of your mobile while in beta – calling contacts; taking videos/photos; send text messages; looking up directions.
  • Although we can do all this on our smartphones it gives you hands-free access to this information.

What could it do for medicine?

  • There are a huge number of potential medical applications for Google Glass.
  • I know that Roger Harris is working with Google Glass in Sydney to try and get it integrated into simulation scenarios and for resuscitation. During resuscitation it could potentially be of great benefit for the team leader – keeping track of time, looking up algorithms, charting drug administration and so on.
  • Patient information could also be looked up on Google Glass in future, allowing better bedside access to patient results and stats, as well as being able to look up learning material and journal articles.

How much do I love it?

  • A LOT
  • I wouldn’t say I’d sell one of my kids to have a pair at home…but I’d certainly consider it.
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  1. says

    You KNOW I’m excited about this -- not just as a rural ‘occasional resuscitationist’ who needs the help of prompting for isoprenaline infusion regimen, RSI checklist etc -- but also because it will allow the retreivalists to see what I am seeing and help guide us rural docs through management of critical illness

    So glad Rog is all over this -- and hope can persuade a pilot program for rural clinicians too.

  2. Christian Molstrom says

    At my hospital system we are piloting a program to send out paramedics to make house calls and reporting back to emergency physician working in an advice center. GG on the field crew will be an amazing step to virtually taking the ED doc to the field.