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Google Glass gives surgeons a new view on patient care

February 25, 2015

Have you seen videos that give a firsthand view of exciting activities, like mountain biking, skiing, or running over scenic trails? Google Glass, glasses with a tiny display and camera over the right eye, can produce such footage, giving viewers the feeling of being there.

This device allows completely hands-free video, music play, and Internet usage. Google Glass wearable technology operates via voice command, head tilt, or touchpad. Just a wink will take a picture.

Now think about looking through the eyes of your surgeon. David Martineau, MD; Brent Bamberger, DO; and Safet Hatic II, DO, from Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Ohio are using this revolutionary technology during surgical procedures to improve patient care.

What makes this technology so useful to surgeons is the hands-free capability. This enables surgeons to look up vital information, such as medical records, medications, and x-rays, during surgery while keeping hands sterile and saving time.

Dr. Martineau and Dr. Bamberger, who specialize in hand surgery at Southview Medical Center’s Hand Center, are able to communicate critical procedural information with the operative and nursing staff during surgery, saving time and increasing accuracy.

Videos can be used to help patients and their families see detailed information that can clearly communicate their condition. Photos and videos can be used for educational purposes as well, providing a close-up view for training physicians and surgeons. Such detail is especially helpful with intricate surgeries like hand or wrist.

Using Google Glass gives doctors the freedom to focus on their patients. “Our goal is always to spend more time with our patients and less on the computer,” says Dr. Martineau.

The uses for Google Glass in health care will only continue to expand. “Wearable technology in health care is in its infancy stage with limitless possibilities,” says Dr. Martineau. Such technology can help bridge the gap between patient and provider, enabling better care in the operating room and beyond.