Google Glass Surgeon

British Surgeon is the First to Globally Stream a Live Surgery via Google Glass

May 23, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

Anybody that follows me knows that I am a strong supporter of Google Glass and how I believe they will change the way we do – or I should say view – just about anything in the near future.  I see physically challenged people able to visually participate in a simple roller-coaster ride or to ‘climb’ the side of a mountain.  I see an elderly couple able to ‘walk’ side-by-side down their favorite path.  I see the police, firefighters, and doctors able to do their jobs more effectively because of Google’s Glass, and here is a perfect example of how medical students able to see a surgery in great detail – that only a year ago they could only read in a book or watch in a movie.

At the Royal London Hospital, doctor Shafi Ahmed, was able to broadcast a surgey live to 13,000 surgical students around the world in 115 countries viewing on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone – and not only could they watch, but they could type in questions that the surgeon could see on his Glass display and answer verbally in real-time.  This was the first time that Glass was used to broadcast around the world simultaneously.  Dr. Ahmed said:

“I am delighted that by using Google Glass technology we are transporting our future surgeons directly into the operating theatre.  Using this technology will support us to deliver high-quality and safe care now and in to the future.”

Professor Richard Trembath, Vice-Principal for Health at Queen Mary University of London, said:

“We are thrilled to be involved in the first live-streamed surgical procedure taking place in the UK.  This is a pioneering piece of work, enabling us to expand our reach around the world.  We believe harnessing technology in this way will eventually become a core component to the cutting-edge undergraduate and postgraduate teaching we provide our students and trainees.”

The students were just as excited and 90-percent of them said they wanted this type of learning to be part of their normal curriculum – with this type of learning, the student can visually see delicate surgeries being performed in the very hospitals that specialize in those types of surgeries.  The patients seemed to have no problems allowing their surgeries being watched, especially if it will help educate the young surgeons.  Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said:

“Today we got a glimpse of what technology can do for the future of surgical training.  The unique and unparalleled view of an operation means trainee surgeons know better what to expect when they go in to the operating theatre.  There is potential for trainee surgeons from around the world to watch and learn from leading surgeons in their fields of expertise.”