Tag Archives: medicine

Through the Looking Google Glass

As I was scanning my twitter feed this last week I came across an article discussing one of Google’s newest technology accessories, Google Glass.  Google glass is essentially a lightweight pair of eyeglasses that works like a headset equipped with camera, GPS, Bluetooth, microphone, and viewfinder. This technology allows the wearer to connect to smartphones, allowing them to search for and access information online and to use the camera, GPS, etc. all hands-free.


Google Glass: What It Does


With all this information less than a click away and viewable without having to carry a physical device I wondered, what possibilities could this technology have in the world of medicine?

I decided to look at how Google Glass was currently being used in the medical field. I found that this technology provides a means to change the ways the doctors work and communicate both with each other and with patients.

In class we’ve discussed how the internet has come to change how information is spread throughout the medical community, from simple avenues like the increased access to information to more creative paths like the live tweeting of surgeries for the public to access. Technologies like Google Glass make these information sharing “innovations” of today look small in comparison.

A perfect example of this can be seen in an article that discusses a surgery performed by Dr. Pedro Guillen earlier this year. Dr. Guillen was able to perform a highly complex surgery while wearing Google Glass, allowing the surgery to be streamed around the world in real-time. This feature allowed him to serve as an interactive teaching tool to university students and physicians all over the world, opening non-traditional avenues to improve medical education around the globe. The technology, as reviewed by Guillen, also revolutionized the way he performed surgery. The split-screen display allowed him to maximize access to valuable information such as images of the knee, notes, or past surgery videos without having to lift his eyes from the table. While all of these features were impressive one that stood out the most was in the off chance that an error occurred, Dr. Guillen possessed the ability to rewind the tape to review the surgery while standing at the table. This feature can serve to drastically change the way we approach and view medical error in the future.


Video of Dr. Guillen’s Surgery

I also found an account of how Google Glass is working to improve doctor-patient interaction. One company, IOS Health Systems, has developed a native EHR app that can be used with Google Glass. This means that doctors could access patient information such as medical history, vitals, etc. and display it into the heads-up display while talking to the patient. This opens the possibility for doctors to reduce reference to a stationary screen and engage in more direct conversation with the patient, working to improve the doctor-patient interaction.

As I reviewed the literature I marveled at the possible impacts that technology like Google Glass could have on the practice of medicine and considered the role that Google Glass could play in our design setting. In the cardiovascular ICU physicians are required to both consolidate and communicate vast quantities of data into a simple and informative patient narrative and plan of care. In the current system often hand copy detailed data from the patient EHR onto sheets of paper. This practice, while necessary within the system, has created a sort of presentation “crutch,” where fellows will focus and rely on the data that they have spent so much time collecting rather than giving a cohesive patient narrative. Technology like Google Glass can work to eliminate this crutch. By allowing for the information to be readily available and accessible, physicians can focus more on preparing a patient narrative and care plan for presentation during rounds.

While Google Glass offers many positive aspects for the world of medicine it also holds many cautionary aspects. With the adoption of any new technology there come many unanswered questions. How will the ability to stream in real-time at any moment change privacy?  Will the knowledge that your doctor is viewing information that you cant see change the way that doctors and patients interact? The positive impacts that utilizing revolutionary technology in medicine can have are great, but as always we must move carefully as we move towards the future.

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Two weeks to “Millennial Medicine”! #MMed13

Blood_Drying_Unit-_Processing_Blood_in_the_Laboratory,_Cambridge,_England,_UK,_1943_D16766The Medical Futures Lab has been humming with activity in the last weeks leading up to our inaugural symposium. Response to the program has been tremendous. In addition to our incredible lineup of speakers, we have participants coming from all over the United States and beyond, and all of the major players in the Texas Medical Center will be in the house. In the afternoon we will hear from physicians, creative writers, artists, hacktivists, and open-source educators as we reimagine medical education for the doctor of the future. (See the previous blog post for details on the morning panel.) Some titles to pique your interest:

“Story-centric: Curiosity, A Glass of Water, and Other Creative Tools for Future Doctors” (Jay Baruch)

“The Art Practicum: Clinical Skills for the Digital Age” (Alexa Miller)

“Hacking Medical Education” (Fred Trotter)

“Open Source Medicine” (Rich Baraniuk)

“Public Medical Communication: A New Core Competency for 21st Century Health Professionals” (Louise Aronson)

We’ll wrap up the day with a reception in the lovely courtyard of the BioScience Research Collaborative. We hope to see you there!

Register here.

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Countdown to “Millennial Medicine: Knowledge Design for an Age of Digital Disruption” #MMed13

Millennium_Falcon_in_LEGO (1)Only three weeks left before the inaugural symposium of the Medical Futures Lab on April 26 in Houston.

The design of “Millennial Medicine” has the Lab’s multidisciplinary-critical-thinking-through-creative-design handprints all over it. We’re bringing together thought leaders from inside and outside of medical education to reimagine the future of medicine and the tools we need to get there. Our speakers are covering a thrilling array of topics, including:

“Digitizing Human Beings” (Eric Topol)

“Can Medical Education Become a Learning Ecosystem?” (Marc Triola)

“The Future of Continuing Medical Education: Can We Keep Up with Exponential Growth in Medical Knowledge?” (Yuri Millo)

“Ten Lessons About Technoculture Innovation for Medicine” (Anne Balsamo)

And that’s all before lunch. Schedule here, and watch this space for the equally fabulous after-lunch lineup.

By drawing input from different disciplines we will leverage our collective capabilities to identify core problems, create critical dialog, fashion innovative solutions, and cultivate new patterns of thinking while fostering a uniquely creative medical culture.  This innovative symposium will bring the voices of the next generation of medical leaders into the dialog about medicine’s future by asking, “how should medicine look in 2050?” Join the conversation!

Register here.


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Announcing the All-Star Cast of the Medical Media Arts Hub! (aka part two)


We’re growing our team of multidisciplinary transmedia theorists and makers, and we’re inspired by the hackathon ethos of rapid prototyping as well as the “thinkathon” ethos of engaged theoretical praxis (thanks to the brilliant Wendy Chun for bringing that great term to my attention).


A sampling of our group includes the renowned multimedia artist Allison Hunter, bioengineer and co-founder of the Caroline Collective Matthew Wettergreen, Communications expert Tracy Volz, Archimage principal and Playnormous designer of award-winning games for health Richard Buday, media agnostic principal of ttweak consultancy and Houston. It’s Worth It. visionary Dave Thompson, and more.

hiwi_1lHalf of the reason we’re so excited about this new project at the Medical Futures Lab is that we have a serious celebrity lineup on deck to help make the vision a reality.imgres-1 And every time we talk about this project, we find more top talent ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work! Watch this space for more information on becoming a community partner or a sponsor, and look for some pilot projects to appear this summer. And, as always, if you want to get involved, let us know!

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