Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center (BIDMC), one of the nation’s largest hospital, is piloting a Google Glass experiment that llow doctors to use Google Glass when performing duties. The new smart eyewear allow doctors to get patient information beamed into their peripheral vision without having to look at a laptop or tablet device.
Patient folders have been replaced with giant QR codes that can be quickly scanned and replaced with new data as patients change rooms and beds. BIDMC software has been used to secure patient records and medical data. In fact, all of Google’s interanl software has been disabled so nothing goes to the Google Cloud.
Here’s how it works.
When a clinician walks into an emergency department room, he or she looks at bar code (a QR or Quick Response code) placed on the wall. Google Glass immediately recognizes the room and then the ED Dashboard sends information about the patient in that room to the glasses, appearing in the clinician’s field of vision. The clinician can speak with the patient, examine the patient, and perform procedures while seeing problems, vital signs, lab results and other data.
Overall, the hospital has received more positive reactions of intrigue from patients than doctors, who were both intrigued and skeptical of the new device. In one case, a doctor cited that the Glass helped notify him of an patient’s allergies, which helped to expedite emergency blood thinners and saving critical time. Even with increased use by BIDMC clinicians, Google Glass is not ready to take over small devices and real computers:
Google Glass does not appear to be a replacement for desktop or iPad—it is a new medium best suited for retrieval of limited or summarized information. Real-time updates and notifications is where Google Glass really differentiates itself. Paired with location services, the device can truly deliver actionable information to clinicians in real time.
This isn’t the first time Google Glass is being used for emergencies. The wearable device is also being targeted for safer firefighting practices.