The Google Glass might be gross to some or exciting to others, depending on who you are, and on June 20, it made history by making it to the operating room and becoming the first wearable technology to document a surgical operation.
Dr. Rafael Grossman, a general trauma, acute care and advanced laproscopic surgeon from Eastern Maine Medical Center, used the Google Glass to document a procedure called percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy where a feeding tube is inserted using an endoscope.
Grossman performed a simple surgical procedure and documented it using the high-tech Google Glass. The surgery was streamed using Google Hang-Out and fed to an iPad just a few steps from the doctor.
"The entire procedure was unremarkable and Google Glass was unobtrusive and second nature. The role of Glass as a surgical and teaching tool is tremendous. And this is only the beginning. New applications-some we can't even imagine yet-will help transform surgery and the surgical experience," Grossman said in an interview with Forbes.
The doctor's top priority was the safety and privacy of his patient. According to Grossman, he was able to show the abdomen of the patient and the endoscopic view of the surgery through Google Glass. He related that the procedure was quick and the experience with the Glass very intuitive.
"Not only I obtained informed consent about what we were going to attempt (and documented it), but most importantly, made sure that no recording or transmission of any identifying information was done. The streaming of video and photos, to 'myself' thru Google Glass, did not reveal any PHI, or even show the patient's face," he said on his personal blog.
Grossman aims to show the public that the Google Glass has a great potential in healthcare. He sees the device paving the way for surgical mentoring, remote medical education, and intra-operative consultations.
The doctor said that it will not be his last surgery wearing the Google Glass.
Elsewhere, according to a report on Digital Journal, the augmented reality glasses will be used to monitor a surgery of a 49-year old male that will undergo cartilage repair. This surgery will not only be recorded using the Google Glass but also it will be streamed over the Internet.