Today at 9 am EST, Google Glass becomes available to the general public for one day only.
I’ve received enough emails and texts from physician colleagues asking if they should purchase Glass that I felt compelled to write about this.
I’ve been testing Google Glass for several months now in the hospital setting and have written extensively about my experiences on iMedicalApps in various articles.
Based on my experiences, I definitely see a significant amount of potential for Glass, but only in the correct clinical settings.
For example, I can see Glass being used in the future by EMS to relay a critically ill patient to an ER physician, enabling the quicker administration of meds — or even quicker decision making that could improve outcomes. This example highlights how the clinical application of Glass could be utilized at a systems level, not necessarily a personal level by a Physician.
Glass is currently being trialed at various hospitals, with the most promising example being done at Beth Israel Deaconess where you can see patient vital signs, chief complaints, and imaging results on Glass. However, there are no significant examples of how Glass is being used at a personal level by Physicians in clinical practice. There are spot examples of how doctors are using Glass during surgeries, but again — not anything that is significantly changing workflows or patient care.
Glass has come a long way from when I started using it last year — you can do more and the OS keeps getting refined. Until there are more robust apps made for Glass, such as Micromedex, medical reference/simulation apps, or robust integration with EMRs — it really isn’t worth purchasing for individual physicians to use in their practice.
Glass lets you check your email, make phone calls, text message, write notes in Evernote, get directions right in your peripheral vision — but your phone does all of this better. That’s the main issue with Glass. Until there is more robust app development and integration with 3rd party applications, your phone is still more efficient.
Although, if you want a novelty item that looks cool sitting on your office desk — go for it. Otherwise, wait until it becomes more refined. You’ll save a few hundred bucks in the process and end up with a more functional device.