While not so inconspicuously designed products like Google Glass may cause some eyebrows to raise when used in normal social settings, their application in cases where fashion style is more pragmatic than expressive is gaining traction. It’s certainly easier to take a person serious with a camera and micro-computer attached to their face when they’re using it to improve their likelihood of success in a surgery.
One such example of this use is by Glass Explorer Dr. Paul Szotek, who joined the explorer program in November of 2013. His interest in applying since day one was to be a beta tester for Google Glass’ uses in trauma surgeries. The immediate benefit he saw was the ability to multi-task during crucial times in the surgeries:
“The Google Glass allowed us not to take our eyes off the patient and at the same time be able to view the images. So we knew it was kind of a guidance system,” Szotek says.
During one surgery where he wore his Google Glass, Dr. Szotek was able to pull up the patient’s x-rays and MRI photos into Glass’ screen, without having to take his view away from the patient.
Dr. Szotek also sees other more pragmatic uses for the device within medicine, specifically as a teaching tool, where medical students can learn the surgery through the eyes of a practicing surgeon in a live surgery. He also sees beneficial application in emergency or high stress situations where first responders can provide a live video feed to remote experts to guide them through treatment.
Medical device companies such as Phillips Healthcare have begun R&D for applications of Google Glass. Ultimately, medical devices must first pass FDA approval. More research is expected on Glass’ expected results through that process in coming months.