Skip to main content

Future of Glass? Philips and Accenture show potential of Google’s specs in healthcare

google glass healthcare in hospitals
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google Glass is yet to get a commercial release but already plenty of beta testers, otherwise known as Explorers, are putting the high-tech device through its paces. As you might expect, the business world is taking an interest in Glass too, with the medical field in particular cited by many as an industry that could benefit from the device in a myriad of ways.

Tech company Philips and Accenture Technology Labs recently hooked up to demonstrate its own ideas about how Glass could be used in a medical setting, posting a YouTube video on Thursday detailing its proof-of-concept project.

Glass demo

The video (below) demonstrates how Glass might be utilized in the case of someone arriving at hospital with a serious ailment. First, the doctor is shown using the wearable tech to access information on the patient’s status prior to meeting him.

We also see Glass in a surgery setting, with the anesthesiologist able to monitor the patient’s changing status without having to look across to monitors.

“If you have to turn away from the monitor, it makes it a little bit more difficult,” Massachusetts-based anesthesiologist David Feinstein says in the video. “If someone is that critical that you have to keep on looking, it’s nice that with one glance you can find that information again.”

Feinstein adds, “As the new healthcare information technologies start emerging, they’ll start being able to track patients. Having this sort of [Glass] technology tethered to it would be very nice.”

Possibilities

The hands-free high-tech specs could also be used to consult with other medical experts during complex or emergency situations, be used as a teaching tool by recording or live streaming various medical procedures to students, and could even improve communication between doctor and patient when more often than not the computer monitor comes between the two. Improved hygiene could also result, with medical staff touching fewer devices – such as smartphones and tablets – that may be harboring harmful bacteria.

Such widespread use of Glass in the medical field may be some way off, but it’s clearly something that could come to benefit the industry enormously as the technology and systems develop over time.

“To be able to use a wearable display in a medical setting, to give doctors the chance to operate or coordinate with their peers in a hands-free environment is just not anything we’ve seen before,” Accenture’s Brent Blum says. “This is what digital transformation is all about.”

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Galaxy Fold and Google Glass show how our attitudes toward new tech have changed
Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Fold together, on a table in front of a fan.

The last decade produced two pieces of technology that I absolutely adore, Google Glass and the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and although they are both obviously very different, there are some striking similarities between them.

Both show an amazing vision of the future, except only one of them will directly influence products we will actually go out and buy tomorrow.  When we look closely, it reveals how attitudes have changed towards expensive, innovative new tech, along with a willingness to try them out, and an acceptance that flaws can be overcome. This resulted in one of them being pushed ahead, and the other unceremoniously pushed aside. That's a great shame, and here's why.
Desirability, and exclusivity

Read more
With voice and gestures, Google’s Pixel 4 takes us closer to a hands-free future
google pixel 4 gestures soli face unlock hands free future

I have a vision of a time when I won’t have to slip a phone in and out of my pocket 200 times a day. I’ll issue voice commands, from play this music or TV show and show me the weather tomorrow, to feed the cat an extra snack -- and it will happen automatically wherever I am. I won’t have to specify a device; if my request requires audio feedback or some visual representation then the nearest speaker or screen will come to life. If I want to pause it, I’ll just hold my hand up in the air.

This idea of disembodied A.I., sold to us by sci-fi movies and shows like Star Trek, is creeping closer whether you realize it or not. Truth be told, I can already do my example voice commands in my house and they mostly work, but there are issues with the ragtag band of devices required and they frequently act like enemies pushed into a grudging temporary truce. All too often something doesn’t work as expected and you’re back to digging out that glass rectangle and tapping and swiping your way to a solution.

Read more
The third generation of Google Glass may be nearly ready for release
google glass patent touchpad batteries woman

It looks like Google hasn't given up on Google Glass just yet. According to a new report from DigiTimes suggests that the third generation of Glass has finished the development stage and is now in pilot production.

The report notes that the 3rd-gen Glass is as light as ever, weighing as little as a pair of regular glasses. There's a catch though -- the battery life will reportedly suffer as a result of the light build. In fact, battery life is so low that users may only get 30 minutes of use in between charges.

Read more