As you know, we’ve been pretty high on Google Glasses on this blog. Katie’s written a few articles about it including: “Google Glasses: The Future of Healthcare?” and “Goggles Suggested for Stroke Monitoring“. I’ve said before that whether Google Glass is the product that will win this category, the idea of always on computing that is available to you in real time with little to no interaction is indeed a game changing technology. Google or someone is going to get this right and it’s going to change so many things for the good.
I heard a really simple example that illustrates this idea. Imagine a Google Glass 911 service. The first thing they teach you in First Aid and CPR is to ask someone near by to call 911. Think about how that simple task changes with Google Glass. Hands free, the person could approach the injured victim and with their voice say, “Ok Glass. Dial 911.” Instant connection to a 911 operator who will have a voice and video connection to you along with the GPS coordinates of your location.
This takes being a 911 operator to a whole new level. Now they can see the victim and can give much better instructions. Plus, the person helping the victim can administer care while talking with the 911 operator hands free. What a compelling use case!
Turns out this could benefit the paramedics as well who could have their Google Glass video feed connected to the ER doctor who can see and instruct them where appropriate. The ER doctor could give instructions to the paramedic while the paramedic works hands free. The ER doctor could even send the paramedic images or video of what the paramedic should be doing.
I’m sure we could extrapolate this more into many other areas of healthcare, but you get the idea. It’s amazing to think what the mature technology could do in this regard.
Before you get too excited about the technology, Charles Webster, MD (who I hear has a device #glassenvy) posted a great link to the most comprehensive Google Glass article I’ve found. For those not interested in reading the lengthy article, the summary is that Google Glass still has a long ways to go to become a mature technology and achieve what I described above. However, I agree with the writer that this is a device of historical significance. It’s a category defining product.
No doubt Google Glass is an alpha release of a device. So, we should all be aware of that and treat it as such. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten my hands on a Google Glass device yet, but no doubt will spring at the chance to try it. While glass is full of limitations today, as the hardware and software mature, I can see some really valuable ways I could use something like this in healthcare and my life.