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Google Glass Gains Momentum In Healthcare

Google Glass plays a growing role in healthcare as developers incorporate the device into medical and personal health software.

and working on Glass today feels like developing on tablets when they were first released."

Another app, CrowdOptic, broadcasts first-person views through wearable devices, including Google Glass, by live-streaming Glass video feeds to remote observers, says Jon Fisher, CEO, in an interview. The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is testing the system to live-stream surgical procedures to enhance patient care and physician training, he says.

"CrowdOptic allows physicians and other healthcare professionals to share contextual data in a real time and secure manner through Google Glass, allowing one physician to inherit the view/vantage point of another physician, in the same operating room, within the hospital or even in a more community-based setting, through our secure portal," Fisher explains. "In situations where the surgical environment is restricted -- in the operating room, for example -- and the field of practitioners is very small, the virtual environment through wearable tech opens up new possibilities for observation and collaboration."

To address privacy and security, the software automatically switches between HIPAA-compliant and non-compliant modes, depending on where the wearer looks. In HIPAA mode, some features are disabled and video is sent and saved only to a healthcare organization's local secure servers. In non-HIPAA mode, all Google Glass features are live, and data is saved to less-expensive Google cloud storage. As a best practice, Fisher adds, CrowdOptic software is used only with patients who have consented to the practice. He expects that number to grow as more physicians, practices, and segments of healthcare become Glass-empowered.

"Wearable computing can usher in a whole new era of connected information in healthcare, where doctors have instant access to information such as medical records and collaboration with other professionals," he says. "Professionals will also increasingly make use of the analytics and physiological sensor data collected by wearable devices."

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