The possibilities of what can be achieved with wearable technology Google Glass are beginning to surface, with the ability for its heads up display showing contextual information whilst travelling, for filmmaking or to read the New York Times. One interesting example that has surfaced in the past week is a potential patient monitoring solution developed by Philips Healthcare and Accenture. The design concept allows surgeons to get real time data before and during surgery on their Google Glass heads up display.
The proof of concept video below shows a surgeon asking Google Glass to bring up the patient status as he is walking towards the theatre. This brings up the patient's details, including the persons age, weight, height and bmi index. It also informs the surgeon that the patient is currently being set up for the procedure and that he or she will be ready for the surgeon in 12 minutes. The surgeon can also check the vital signs of the patient heading into the theatre.
Monitoring machines within the theatre can be seen through Google Glass by the anaesthesiologist and can be controlled by voice command. The example in the video shows him asking Google Glass to increase the oxygen saturation levels of the patient as he can see via his display that it is currently too low.
One potential use that I would like to see with the technology would be video recording of the procedure from the perspective of the doctor. Having personally worked in medical video before it was often incredibly difficult to get the appropriate shot due to the amount of people in the room and the medical equipment in the way. This could record an unobtrusive recording of the procedure for the benefit of future healthcare professionals.
According to Forbes, Philips reportedly earned $34 billion in revenue last year and has half of the patient monitor market worldwide so it makes sense for them to push innovation in this field to remain the market leaders. Only time will tell if the use of Google Glass in the surgery room will become a reality.