I don’t question for one minute the scale of the opportunity that augmented reality (the next mass media) represents and I think it’s clear there are some great opportunities for Google Glass in emergency medicine and as a Patient aid but it’s very clear that there’s now a thriving ponzi scheme around the Google Glass technology as it has such visual impact that it appears to make it easy to bamboozle audiences with unrealistic scenarios.
This latest article claiming that Google Glass helped to save the life of a man in a hospital is typical of the fawning promotion of applications that I’m seeing being reported in the press. According to the article:
“Dr. Steven Horng, working at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was wearing Glass last year while working on a man whose brain was bleeding. Dr. Horng knew that the patient was allergic to certain drugs that would arrest the bleeding, but didn’t know which ones. With no time to leave the stricken patient, Horng says he called up the man’s medical records on Google’s wearable device, found the relevant information, and stabilized his condition“
In my entire life I’ve never seen a Hospital bed with a Patient in it that doesn’t have a printed Drug Card that the prescribing Healthcare Professional must sign so I have no idea why a Doctor working in a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School (that claims to be “one of the world’s leading hospitals”) is suggesting that a Doctor would have no alternative but to leave a Patient in their care to go and check for something as basic as drug allergies. I also imagine that it might also be the type of false claim that would concern Patients who aren’t being cared for by Doctors who are wearing Google Glasses eg. is Dr Horng suggesting that if your Doctor at BIDMC is not wearing these glasses on their skull they’re not able to practice safely?
In 2014 we’re at the stage where modern high quality hospitals enable the Healthcare Professional to access and make notes on a Patient’s medical records at the bedside via their iPhones, iPods and iPads eg. using apps like VitalPac:
Watching the video that’s been made showing the Google Glass in use and it reinforces my confidence that the most obvious way that this technology will start saving lives is when it starts to be worn by Patients eg. US lawyers would have such a field day if they had video recordings of Hospital Doctors attempting to treat their clients critical Brain Haemorrhage without access to their medical information that it would overnight drive 100% adoption of modern mobile accessible Healthcare Record systems:
**** UPDATE: 10 April 2014 ****
It seems like Hospitals in the USA are rushing out Google Glass in Healthcare stories this week eg. this latest video (HatTip: Mashable ‘Sick Kids Use Google Glass to Virtually Visit the Zoo’) showcases a collaboration between the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and their neighbours at Houston Zoo. Apparently ‘sick kids, who are unable to leave the hospital’ are being given Google Glass to wear so that they can connect with zoo employees wearing Google Glass in order to “virtually “visit” the Houston Zoo”.
I’m again struggling. This use case seems to conflict with the advice given when I got Google Glass (eg. Google suggests that the device was designed to provide bursts of information in a convenient way so that the wearer can get back to doing real world things rather than as a media consumption device) and surely it would be easier for the Hospital to just get some nice TVs and Tablets that the kids could use whenever they like to watch properly edited Zoo programs (with their parents and the new friends they could be making) like the 393 Videos that are posted on the Houston Zoo Youtube channel?