wearableintelligence

Google Glass In The Operating Room Could Potentially Help Save Lives

April 8, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

Google Glass just keeps finding new ways to pop up in every day use. While something like the Skybox app that is meant for use by the fans who want to make sure and catch every single fight within a hockey game, this doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was busy using Glass to assist in saving someones life. While it’s not normally practiced in a hospital setting, having Google Glass on hand to help doctors in a number of ways has obviously helped in a serious situation where the outcome may not have been as positive without it.

The doctor wearing Glass at the time of surgery, Dr. Steve Horng, had stated that he was treating a patient who had recently been brought in for massive internal bleeding in the brain. Since the doctor was wearing glass during the procedure, he was able to quickly access the patients files and medical records, allowing him to spot that the patient has severe allergic reactions when exposed to blood pressure medications. Without Google Glass in the picture, it’s a very real possibility that Dr. Horng would have had to access information about the allergy by logging into a computer in a different location than the operating room, which would have resulted in the patient having to wait on treatment. Dr. Steve Horng firmly believes that having Glass there to help him see the relevant data he needed about the patient on the fly, that the patient was able to avoid permanent brain damage and even death.

We’ve heard of the uses of Glass within the hospital before, and the team at Beth Israel is part of a specific pilot program that uses heavily modified Google Glass units to help with scenarios like this one. The Google Glass units that the hospital uses for this program are tweaked by a company called Wearable Intelligence, which removes the stock Google Glass software from devices and puts a reworked version of the Android OS on the units. The software is completely locked down so the only use applications for Glass here is for Hospital purposes only. This is just one of the many different instances where Google Glass is being used in the workplace, and is part of the Glass at Work program that Google is driving heavily forward.