22 October 2018
Google Glass is a big help for surgeons, but its use is raising privacy and other concerns.
Google Glass is a big help for surgeons, but its use is raising privacy and other concerns.

Google Glass in hospitals: Is it the right prescription?

If you are a patient awaiting a surgical procedure in a hospital, don’t be surprised if you see your doctor wearing a strange pair of glasses. That could be the Google Glass, the wearable computer with a built-in camera and a monitor.  

In a trend that could spread to other parts of the world, surgeons in the United States have begun using Google Glass to stream their work online and hold video consultations with colleagues as they perform the operations.

A voice command enables the device to start recording, beam the images outside and store the content in a database. 

The recordings will help doctors review the procedures they have done on their patients as well as provide a vital reference tool to the medical community at large. 

Enabling all this are software programs that transform the Glass projector into a medical dashboard that displays patient vital signs, urgent lab results and surgical checklists.

As the surgeons can see their work like never before, it can ensure more efficient and effective patient care.

Some observers have gone as far as to say that the Google Glass can change the way doctors practice their medicine and alter the face of medical care. 

So, how real are these prognostications? 

Well, it is worth bearing in mind that there are privacy concerns as well as other issues relating to the use of Google Glass in the operating room.

The Glass projector is slightly above the user’s right eye, allowing doctors to see medical information without turning away from patients. 

But the display can also be used to see email and surf the web, potentially allowing doctors to take multitasking to dangerous new levels, Dr. Peter J. Papadakos at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told the New York Times.

Meanwhile, there are also concerns that a doctor wearing Glass could accidentally stream confidential medical information online.

Also, there is another thing to ponder: will patients really be comfortable seeing their doctors wearing cameras on their faces?


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