What is Google Glass

The app MedicAR, an acronym for Medic Augmented Reality, is being currently tested at Stanford University Medical Center.

The Spanish start-up Techcombact first developed this app to simulate the instruction of surgical procedures for teaching. Therefore, MedicAR application can help medical students by accelerating their learning curve.

If you´re interested in more details about this Google Glass app we invite you to discover all about it on this article. But first, let´s find out…

What is Google Glass?

Google Glass was first developed by Google, as an augmented reality system. The wearable in the shape of glasses is a voice-controlled computing system, that contains an HD screen, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Also counts with a 5 MPx camera.

The interface can sync with Android and iOS phones, intending to integrate information across platforms. Since its invention, Google Glass has represented an intriguing technological advance, especially because of its recent implementation within the medical field.

Right now, after many start-ups have created Google Glass apps for use in the medical field, is widely accepted that this technology might change medical education and practice.

What are the uses of Google Glass in Medicine Field?

As a tool for medical procedures, its role as an instrument for sharing and transferring information has been widely discussed. Glasses would allow physicians access in real-time to a patient’s medical records, imaging studies and pharmaceutical info, mainly through the integrated HD screen.

Google Glasses may also help with surgical procedures, providing instant access to reference materials and giving the chance of making real-time consults while in the operating room. In addition, this wearable is proving to be capable of providing a more integrated and complete experience for medical students.

Students will be able to interact with virtual patients from the point of view of the physician, in a sort of immersive educational experience. Furthermore, if the patients use the glasses, these students will be capable of viewing the patient encounters from their point of view, providing a perspective that only a few students have been able to experience.

What is MedicAR and how it integrate with Google Glasses?

Now that we understand the frame of this technology, we might be able to comprehend the apps that have been developed for it.

Specifically, this app created by Techcombact is capable of guiding an entire surgery, step by step. It combines segmented reality and wearable Google Glass in order to simulate the instruction of surgical procedures for teaching.

This app was first thought to help medical students in their process to become surgeons, assisting them from the basic steps: for example, showing them where to cut, the exact tools to use, and what to do next, until the closure of the incision after the procedure is finished.

The app places a temporary tattoo on the patient´s skin, signaling the surgeon or student where to aim at with the Google Glasses. In that moment, the surgeon sees a display on the screen that starts guiding him through the pre-established surgical procedure step by step.

Not only MedicAR can aid trainee surgeons through common procedures, but it could also help experienced surgeons with special surgical procedures. Apart from providing videoconference capability, Julian Beltran, CEO of Techcombact, says Glassware and Google Glass open a whole new world of possibilities.

Soon this wearable technology might have widespread adoption in the medical field, since apps like MedicAR are being developed worldwide providing utility to physicians. More importantly, the companies behind those apps are willing to take the intense regulatory scrutiny of the medical field.

The experience of MedicAR at Stanford University…

In a recent demonstration, Dr. Homero Rivas, who is enrolled as an assistant professor of surgery and director of innovative surgery at S.U. performed a demonstration with Droider´s MedicAR app, using an anatomical human body.

The procedure consisted of an open reduction and internal fixation of a left complex clavicular fracture, and the demonstration took place in the Goodman Simulation Center at the University. This was live-streamed to physicians around the world, and although it wasn´t a complicated procedure, it was one of the first times in which AR was introduced to Glassware in the benefit of surgeons.

In plenty of hospitals all over the globe, physicians of all fields are experimenting with Google Glass, and a lot of them are especially enthusiastic about this technology. Dr. Rivas was among the first to recognize the promise of Glassware for the medical and more specifically surgical field.

Since Stanford Hospital is a very well-known testing ground for new technology, many surgeons just like Dr. Rivas are often requested to pilot the latest devices or medical apps in their operating theaters.

Aside from his work withTechcombact´s MedicAR, Dr. Rivas expects this company´s advances in new software that might help doctors check the patient’s heart rate just by looking into their faces.

He also envisions dozens of uses for Google Glass apps, which he has shared for years with application developers:

  • Expect that surgeons will be able to perform surgeries in concert with medical experts located in other cities or countries.
  • Using the Glass camera to send a transmission of the surgery to a remote colleague, being able to benefit from their expertise in real-time. (Thanks to this technology, surgeon Dr. Pedro Guillen was able to live-stream a surgical procedure to doctors located at 300 universities and hospitals in five continents).
  • Medical students will use augmented reality to improve their surgical techniques, instead of using cadavers or real patients.
  • Check out the patient´s vitals just by looking at them, and accessing at their medical info by scanning a QR code in a chipset into their skin.

As you can see, MedicAR has been a precedent in Glassware development focused in medical procedures and medical students teaching process. Soon enough, physicians will use Google Glass with plenty of apps in a regular basis for sure.

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