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Meaningful Health Care Informatics Blog

May 22 2013   9:39PM GMT

Google Glass and some of its early healthcare uses

Posted by: RedaChouffani
glasses, Google, mhealth

Google Glass will make an appearance in somewhere in  healthcare, possibly at the point of care. A limited number of the devices have been shipped and we have seen a number of interesting applications developed with connectivity to social media and tracking capabilities of images and locations.

Apps such as Twitter’s Glass app, Ice Breaker, and others have been developed and show some significant promise for the day-to-day use of Google Glass.

A recent Glass app — introduced by Lance Nanek — called MedRef, is looking to change the way caregivers pull medical records. The application uses a cloud-based face search to find patients photos. A site called Betaface provides the application programming interfaces that will enable the Google Glass user to simply look at the person and be able to retrieve their identity based the photo captured by the device. The application also provides the ability to add notes and perform other tasks. Some of these activities can help generate additional patient documentation to add to their digital medical records.

Some potential uses for Google Glass, combined with facial recognition and augmented reality, are as follows.

  • Physicians will be able to identify patients using facial recognition and pull their chart when they enter the room.
  • Augmented reality can provide stats and alerts on patients at the point of care, as well as potential simulations during surgery.
  • Voice recognition will be able to capture data and schedule followup appointments through the use of CLU or other voice recognition engines that integrate named-entity recognition and natural language processing.

There are several opportunities presented by Google Glass and there is potential for many more things that can be accomplished through the combination of Google Glass and other available tools. However, as privacy issues continue to be a concern when it comes to these popular gadgets, healthcare organizations will likely wait to see some more real world use cases and what safeguards can be put in place to ensure the security of the data being collected and transmitted from these devices.

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