Fortunately for all of us, the technical world keeps coming up with new ideas all of the time – sometimes they enrich our lives and other times they can control them. Look at the smartphone as a good example…it has so fully integrated itself into our daily lives, most people view it as a necessity to own and use and would never think of leaving home without it – in fact many have turned their car around and driven back miles to the house to retrieve it, myself included. As indispensable as the smartphone can be, it can also be a tremendous hindrance – Google claims that the average Android user checks their phones 125 times a day and a recent IDC survey found that 79-percent of smartphone users keep it with them for all but 2 hours during our waking hours. Therefore, while the smartphone is a very useful tool, it can also be a hindrance in our everyday world as we fight our obsession of the device – it can control our actions a human being and keep us from the social interaction that is necessary to main a civilized society.
Google Glass may take us down the same road – especially if priced low enough that the average person can afford a pair…as they can with a smartphone. Google Glass could be that next indispensable piece of technology that we just can't leave home without, and especially glasses, something that is easily put on and forgot about. Our nose and ears act like a natural carrying 'case'…unlike a smartphone that requires a hand, pocket, purse or belt case to bring it with us everywhere we go – but we do. Can you imagine putting on a pair of 'glass(es)' in the morning and leaving them on all day long, almost forgetting that they are there – wait, I do that already as do millions of others.
Some say outside the techie world, the public perception of Glass is not good – but we already know how easily that can be changed. Others say that they could be a real Godsend in certain business segments – law enforcement, firefighting, real estate, the medical field and others. I predict Glass will become a success in BOTH private and commercial categories. Medical is the one that is most fascinating and a company, Remedy, founded by two sisters – one a Thiel fellow and the other a medical student – are also betting on the medical field…especially in the quick collection of data and reading case studies on their patients.
They have been working a pilot program with three Harvard-affiliated hospitals in the Boston area, testing out their Glass App that pairs with some PC software, allowing physician assistants (PAs) to visually send the patient's symptoms to the doctors rather than just describing them over the phone. By utilizing Glass' capabilities, they can quickly send videos and photos to the surgeons on call. The PA would use the normal Glass voice commands to perform the functions, leaving their hands free to poke and probe. Remedy allows physicians to work like they think – to quickly get the facts, photos and case history of a patient and then make a diagnosis, which can then be quickly added into the patient's file.
The pilot was a very small sampling of 25 cases, with eight surgeons and six PAs, however, 91-percent of the surgeons found the experience very rewarding and helpful. More importantly, all of the patients felt comfortable with the healthcare workers using Glass – I am sure they viewed it no differently as a doctor's stethoscopes or thermometer. It certainly beats the doctor parked in front of a tablet or laptop typing in your information as they ask you questions…at least with Glass, their hands are free to act in a human manner that technology can often steal away from us – the human touch or contact with one another.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if it would upset you if your doctor walked into your exam room wearing Google Glass…as always, we would love to hear from you.