Technological developments have made a huge impact in the healthcare industry in the form of electronic medical records (EMRs), advanced medical billing and coding software and other such improvements. With the increasing use of smartphones, healthcare apps (for example, Isabel iPhone app for quick diagnosis) are becoming immensely popular. These enable healthcare professionals to access the information they want from anywhere in the world by simply swiping the screen. Google Glass is expected to be the next technological innovation that is all set to usher in a new era in the healthcare industry. The device comprises a pair of eyeglasses and a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye. It traces your eye movements and carries out data requests accordingly so that the requested item will be displayed in front of you without a click or swipe.
Google glass presents great possibilities for the medical industry. It is totally hands-free, and using voice commands and head movements you can control the information shown on the screen. Glass has recording capability that is surely beneficial for medical students and surgeons.
- Google Glass helps to gather information without the user being stuck in front of the computer screen. By wearing Glass, surgeons would be able to access imaging scans, operative checklists, vital sign readings and help notes during surgery.
- As this device can transmit visual feeds to other devices (iPad, smartphone, computer or another pair of Glass), specialists may able to observe the surgery and provide consultations or direct the operating surgeon during the surgical procedure.
- Physicians may use Glass to access databases which may help them to diagnose certain conditions more efficiently. For example, they can take the picture of new pigmented growth on the skin and compare it with the database instantly and quickly determine the risk for melanoma.
Privacy – of Some Concern Indeed
The HIPAA compliance of this gadget is still in question as it bears some privacy vulnerabilities. As Glass is equipped with flash memory, it is possible for users to store data on the hardware. Even though much of the data storage is dedicated for operation performance, a certain amount of storage space can be used to save user information. Since Glass lacks password protection, privacy cannot be ensured for such kind of data.
However, Google says that several protective measures are already in place or under development. According to Susan Molinari, Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations for Google Inc, Google is experimenting with ‘lock’ solutions to determine which type of security measure would work best for Glass.
Though there are some privacy concerns, physicians should not turn their backs on this amazing device that offers limitless possibility for innovations. In the right settings, Glass provides an easy and quick way for physicians to make various diagnoses, and perform medical coding and billing.