According to information provided by a hospital, surgeons have become the first professionals to use Google Glass in UK’s operating theater. This device has a tiny display and is activated by voice. It can be used for recording videos and live-stream operations with the help of the internet. The first surgeon to have used Google Glass in the whole of UK is David Isaac who used it for a live operation when working at Torbay Hospital that’s located in Devon. After the orthopedic surgeon used it, numerous other surgeons of the hospital followed suit and it was used in a horde of orthopedic procedures as well as operations of the nose, ear and throat.
The technology has been deemed to have a lot of potential for the purpose of ‘medical education’ by the Torbay Hospital as students would be able to see and hear everything from the viewpoint of the surgeon when in a lecture theater. Isaac said that the two issues that they had to deal with regarding the use of Google Glass, the wearable technology, in the operation theatre were that of privacy and patient confidentiality. He asserted that these matters were very important to them and had been making an effort in the past six months for dealing with the issue and also reaping the benefits of the potential that this device can offer in terms of surgical education.
He detailed that they had been trying to find a way to stream and then store video in a secure network where it can only be accessed by authorized individuals. Dr. Isaac also said that even though they hadn’t yet managed to connect the device to the internet for streaming, they have plans of streaming it live to students and junior doctors. Before Google Glass was launched in the UK officially, it had been acquired in November by the app inventor and core surgical trainee of the hospital, George Brighton.
People can use Google Glass for accessing functions such as voice search, maps, video calls, calendar, emails and photos hands-free. Brighton said that basically the device plays the role of a computer, a head mounted camera and a smartphone all rolled into one. He said that as far as medical education was concerned, it could be used by surgeons for recording and sharing the direct view of the surgery with others. This means that Google Glass also has a lot of potential for conferencing and mentoring.
He asserted that when surgeons were performing complex and tricky procedures, Google Glass gives them the opportunity of seeking the advice of experts in any part of the world during the operation. Moreover, juniors can also be mentored by experts throughout a procedure with the help of this device. Before surgeons use Google Glass in theaters, they discuss the option with their patients and inform them of the purpose of recording the footage. Only when signed consent has been obtained from the patient can the surgeon use Google Glass for filming the surgical procedure and use it accordingly.