The biggest impact Google Glass will have on Healthcare: It will enable Patients to Document care (and that will then force Healthcare Providers to follow)

Leaving the Clinic with Google Glass

This morning I had a call from a journalist in which I was asked about my thoughts on Google Glass. It really surprises me that so many people are under the misunderstanding that these glasses have their own mobile connectivity. Perhaps it’s because of the confusing explanations being given by Google Glass Explorers eg. in a discussion over in the mHealth Linkedin Group.

To make it clear: Google Glass devices need an internet connection to work and they can get this by connecting to a WiFi signal or by being tethered to your mobile phone’s Mobile Connection.

It surprises me that so many healthcare journalists are writing about how applications will be first developed for use by medical professionals rather than by/for Patients. I find it hard to imagine how this could happen as healthcare roles will involve private information that we’re all far too sensitive about to even think about tolerating such levels of experimentation.

Here are a few of my thoughts about the mHealth impact of Google Glasses:

Google Project Glass creates a pair of Google Goggles – can you see the healthcare opportunities?

With Google Glasses has Silicon Valley created something so useful and easy to use that it’s Primary market will be serving health needs?

Flawed Google Glass re-Design highlights problems if we try to only “see” Augmented experiences

Has the experience with Google Glass opened Google’s ears to the Augmented Audio Opportunity?

Augmented Reality, Superman senses and what if you could have more in that same view?

Here’s how I see this augmented reality mobile phone accessory changing healthcare:

> Some Healthcare Professionals will try them

> Prices will tumble and lots of Patients will try them

> Tech will advance and they will become so discrete we won’t know if someone is wearing the tech, is using it or not.

> Banning it will be pointless as anyone can just as easily make a secret audio recording (a daft idea that Google Health’s Chief Strategist was encouraging Patients to do years ago)

> Google will present adverts to Patients similar to the ones you see on Adwords except they’ll know where you are (leaving XYZ clinic), what you’ve just done (seen Doctor XYZ) and will have video documentation of the entire encounter.

> Clinicians will see an even bigger rise in their premiums than last year and insurers will make moves to ensure all consultations are documented by the clinicians so they have an ability to defend themselves in the face of the DIY documentation process that Patients are increasingly using.

Of course Healthcare Providers can always be proactive about meeting changing needs and move with the times…

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3 Responses to The biggest impact Google Glass will have on Healthcare: It will enable Patients to Document care (and that will then force Healthcare Providers to follow)

  1. Pingback: 구글 글래스, 미래의 의료를 바꿀 것인가? (1) | 최윤섭의 Healthcare Innovation

  2. rgrosssz says:

    I really believe that glass represents the evolution of the “computer” platform. As a Glass Explorer, I have been very clear with my message (see The potential in Healthcare is profound, to enhance connectivity and communications between providers ( and/or patients), as well as a powerful adjunct in MedEd. The SDK is out now and it is only a matter of time for “apps” to be developed ( just like it happened for smartphones and tablets) that allow communications to happen in a HIPAA compliant arena. As I recently said in a TEDx talk (soon to be published at TEDxDirigo 2013), the biggest impact I see, will be in the flow of data, in Glass as a way for data to be intuitively received or input in the EMR, decreasing med errors and increasing efficiency. Intuitive and instantaneously, important data populating the GoogleGlass screen, in a “Google Now” type fashion…not having to think about it.

  3. HI Rafael,

    I agree that this might be the case IF healthcare was documented. But it’s not and workflow transformation won’t make an impact until we let Patients help their Doctors in the documentation process.

    Let me know if you’re coming to the mHealth Summit in Washington DC in December as it would be great for you to join me on our booth for a debate between us on the Google Glass opportunity that we could post to YouTube.

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