When it comes to Google Glass, there are plenty of instances where it’s not appropriate to have on. From a bar where people won’t take kindly to the headset down to driving, there are places Glass may not belong. When it comes to saving lives, there probably isn’t any arguing that Glass should have any place Doctors see fit.
Dr. Steve Horng works int he emergency room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. During his rotations, he’s been wearing Glass, which has allowed him to multitask, gathering information as he treats patients. When an unfortunate soul came in with a bleeding brain, Dr. Horng took advantage of Glass. “Google Glass enabled me to view this patient’s allergy information and current medication regimen without having to excuse myself to login to a computer, or even lose eye contact” he said.
Because he could treat the critical patient without losing critical time to gather information, Dr. Horng believes a life was saved. For Beth Israel, a company named Wearable Intelligence has modified Glass to perform specific tasks. Doctors involved in the trial can get medical info on the fly, but don’t have access to unnecessary tasks like snapping photos or checking Twitter.
Wearable Intelligence likens it to plugging into a larger knowledge base. Wearable Intelligence CEO Yan David-Erlich said “With this ambient information stream, we start to blur the line between knowledge in your head and the institutional knowledge of the entire organization”. Sounds scary, but probably not as scary as bleeding out in a hospital. In at least one instance, a Doctor was able to accurately diagnose and treat a patient with a complex problem. We won’t say Glass saves lives, but it saves time — and sometimes that’s a deciding factor for medical professionals who really are saving lives.