Google Glass Helping ER Doctors in Boston Hospital
Glass is making it easier for emergency room doctors to focus directly on patients and improve their care.Google Glass is helping emergency room doctors in a busy Boston hospital get patient information much faster, while also allowing doctors to focus more on their patients instead of on computers. That's one of the biggest benefits of a Glass pilot project being conducted since December 2013 at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where four Glass devices are being shared by 10 ER doctors to provide care to their patients in an often-chaotic metropolitan hospital emergency room. "For us, getting the right information at the right time has always been the challenge," Dr. Steven Horng, an ER doctor at the hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School, told eWEEK. "We run around a lot in the emergency department. We get interrupted all the time, and that's kind of part of our job. Every time that you go to a computer, you go through interruptions." But by using Glass while treating patients, doctors can be freed up from the distraction of a nearby computer terminal, said Horng, which allows them to truly focus on their patients and give more personalized care. That's possible because the hospital's patient medical records have been stored electronically since 1997 and can be accessed directly using Glass and a special, secure app that was created for the hospital by a company called Wearable Intelligence. The hospital's IT staff built the back end for the app.
"Being able to access [patient] information very quickly and not have to access a computer is very helpful," he said. "Being able to simplify the workflow is fantastic. Now, without having to look it up, the information is delivered to Glass as needed." By using Glass, doctors essentially have a heads-up display that can access patient information even as the doctor talks to a patient.