Google Glass, which was introduced by the company in an early adopter program last February, is already making waves among technology enthusiasts.
I was impressed when I read a news report that a surgeon used Google Glass to broadcast live one of his procedures through Google Hangout. The media called it as the first of its kind in this field.
Dr. Rafael Grossmann of the Eastern Maine Medical Center performed gastrostomy (an endoscopic procedure that involves inserting a feeding tube into a patient’s abdomen) while he was wearing Google Glass. The operation is broadcast live through the doctor’s Google Hangout account.
This how Dr. Grossman explains the whole procedure:
“I arranged for a Google Hang-Out (HO) between my Glass and a Google account I created ahead of time for this very purpose.
“The connection is remote. The iPad used as a receiver was just yards away, but it could have been practically thousands of miles away. Before starting the operation, I briefly recorded myself explaining the planned event, and once again, talked about the importance of not revealing any PHI (patient’s health information).
“I had Google Glass on at all times, with the HO active throughout the procedure. The live video images that I saw thru Glass, were projected in the iPad screen, remotely. We kept the volume down on purpose. “We tried to keep it very simple (KISS principle!) and straight forward. As I said, even the procedure was a simple one.
“I was able to show not just the patient’s abdomen, but also the endoscopic view, in a very clever, simple and inexpensive way.”
With this technology, we can involve the best medical experts all over the world in operations to save lives.
Wikipedia describes Google Glass as a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format that can interact with the internet via natural language-voice command.
It basically looks like a glass frame but without the bottom. There is a wire that goes from your one ear to the other, but on one side of the arm, there is a miniature L-shaped camera and a square glass prism attached. At the side of device is a touchpad that the wearer can use also for control aside from the voice command.
In this version of the Google Glass, the wearer can film and take pictures of what he sees in his field vision. He can also run a search for more information about what the wearer is experiencing in front of him. It can also do language translations on the fly. This is especially useful when you are vacationing in a foreign land.
Google had been experimenting with this augmented reality technology since 2010. Early prototypes were 8 pounds heavy but this new release version of Glass is lighter than a pair of average glasses.
Google Glass is currently priced at $1,500. For an average user, I think this price tag is too stiff. I would wait couple more years for this technology to become cheaper as I expect companies like Apple and Microsoft would come up with their own version.
Readers interested in learning more about Google Glass may visit: google.com/glass/start.