The University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) School of Medicine announced that they will be implementing Google Glass as part of their innovative curriculum.

UC Irvine announced this past Wednesday their intent to use 10 Google Glass devices for third- and fourth-year medical students in the operating room and emergency department. And, within a few short months, UC Irvine will deploy up to 30 for first- and second-year students to use from basic science courses to clinical courses (image: attending physician Christopher Eric McCoy, MD, MPH uses Google Glass in the UC Irvine Simulation Center).

Over the past year, there have been many pilots and small studies evaluating how Google Glass can be used in medicine. This effort represents the largest systematic implementation of this technology in healthcare to date.

Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for our interview with Dr. Warren Wiechmann, who is heading this project.

According to the announcement this past Wednesday, Google Glass units “will be incorporated into anatomy labs, the medical simulation center, the ultrasound institute, the Clinical Skills Center and even the basic science lecture hall.”

Warren Wiechmann, MD MBA, current associate dean for instructional technologies, assistant professor, and attending physician at UC Irvine Emergency Medicine, is overseeing this initiative. Wiechmann presented this year at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, and recently won the Apple Distinguished Educator award.

We’ve covered many proposed uses of Google Glass; for example, yesterday we highlighted how University of Arkansas cardiologists are using Google Glass for expert supervision of complex procedure. iMedicalApps also covered Google Glass for physician use in settings such as emergency departments, and whether physicians should purchase them.

From the classroom to the wards, there are certainly a number of potential applications that we could speculate about. One important part of efforts like these will be assessing the value added; in other words, how does Glass improve on the status quo to train better physicians?

Several years ago, Dr. Wiechmann led a similar effort to deploy iPads within the medical school. Since that time, educators have found inventive and unique ways to use the technology to enhance medical education.

In our next article, we will speak with Wiechmann about UC Irvine’s various initiatives, and how he is leading UC Irvine’s cutting-edge medical education curriculum.

Steven Chan, M.D., M.B.A., is a resident physician at the University of California, Davis Health System, researching psychiatry, telemedicine, mobile technology, & human behavior. Steve previously worked as a software and web engineer as well as creative designer at Microsoft & UC Berkeley. Visit him at and @StevenChanMD.