Google Glass makes medical communication easier at hospital

By: Chelsea Priest

They aren't your typical glasses, and now at Rhode Island Hospital, they are breaking barriers in medical communication.

Dr. Paul Porter thought of using Google Glass in hospitals. He explains, “the time to care is really important so we want to be able to access in the future, specialists immediately to bring the most appropriate care as fast as we can.”

Rhode Island Hospital will be the first in the country to use the Google Glass technology for medical communication. Doctors in the emergency department can contact specialists who may be off for the night, off for the weekend, or just away from the building in real-time.

The program will start with dermatology emergencies. Porter said, “it's fully two way, they can look, see and hear everything we see and hear.”

Basically, whatever the person wearing the glasses is looking at, like a bite or a rash, will show up on a device another doctor is looking at.

Porter along with the two residents working on the project with him, Peter Chai, M.D., and Roger Wu, M.D., hope the technology will expand. Chai said, “you can think of multiple applications like first responders, surgeons, or other sub-specialists.”

And the real-time consultations may cut back on follow up visits. Wu said, “not only deliver more efficient care but at a lower cost and really connect patients virtually to their primary care consultants.”

The team proposed the research to the hospital and later received funding for the project. Start-up technology company Pristine created a Google Glass that protects patients and meets federal laws for privacy so no images or videos can be saved to the device.

(C) WLNE-TV 2014