Google Glass Technology: 21st Century Solutions for Medical Professionals and Their Patients
Have you heard of Google Glass? It’s a new form of technology that has the potential to facilitate better and more efficient patient care.
Carl Spitzer, M.D. and Craig Rosenberg, Ph.D. are the founders of the startup company Healium, based in Seattle, WA. They developed software for Google Glass with an eye on how wearable computing can help physicians.
This latest technology development has particular significance for Spitzer, according to the King5 article, is not only a practicing emergency physician at Marin General Hospital, but is also its chief medical informatics officer. It’s his job to research the latest technologies and see if there are applications for his profession. According to King5’s article, Dr. Spitzer said, “I saw this as an opportunity to kind of create a solution that would serve my needs and the needs of the doctors that I’m serving, and also help patients.” The article goes on to say that Healium’s application provides patient intake information in the Glass heads-up display, and real-time communications with other doctors or facilities. Doctors and paramedics wearing Healium-powered Glass can record videos and send/receive them for consultation. Rosenberg, with a deep background in user experience and systems design in a variety of industries, is Healium’s chief technology officer. He and Spitzer view the hands-free nature of Glass as a potential advantage for ER physicians as well as first responders.
Dr. Ruhlman from OSS had this to say about this new technology, “It would be very helpful to go back to the imaging (x-rays, etc.) very quickly with Google Glass, or even more powerfully, to be able to have access with other surgeons – to have an interoperative consultation with somebody 3,000 miles away – to say, hey, I’m looking at this, you see it, what do you think?”
King5 explains that Healium’s application provides patient intake information in the Glass heads-up display, and real-time communications with other doctors or facilities. Doctors and paramedics wearing Healium-powered Glass can record videos and send/receive them for consultation. Those qualities highlight what Spitzer sees as the benefits of Glass for physicians – “the fact that it’s wearable, the fact that it’s on all the time and I can consult with it in the middle of a trauma resuscitation, or in the middle of interviewing a patient,” he said. “I can be seeing a patient in one room and get called by the nurse about a patient in another room, and be able to reference their lab results, their x-rays.” He goes on to say, “It’s one thing to hear that report,” Spitzer said, “It’s another thing to see the accident scene and to see the extrication (patient removal from accident wreckage) and that actually kind of helps to set the level of expectation for the types of injuries to expect, so it’s another way that it can positively impact patient care.”
Spitzer also believes it will be easier – not to mention less expensive and time-consuming – for physicians to simply record their patient interviews via Glass and then transfer that information into electronic health records. He’s also aware of questions regarding patient privacy/confidentiality, so transparency and giving patients the ability to opt out are important.
Read the full article here and check out Dr. Ruhlman’s thoughts in the video from King5 regarding this new, emerging technology: http://www.king5.com/news/technology/Seattle-medical-startup-focuses-on-Google-Glass-for-emergency-rooms-242260021.html
Dr. Ruhlman Traveled to Kenya to Treat Orthopedic Injuries
Written by Dr. Scott Ruhlman
I had the privilege in March of serving at Tenwick Hospital, Bomet Kenya. I was nervous about going as this was quite a new experience for me and I was traveling during the midst of their national elections, which 4 years earlier was quite violent with thousands killed and hundreds of thousands displaced. I was relieved to have a very smooth trip with no major problems. The country was quite beautiful and the people are very generous and accommodating.
Just about a 4-hour drive out of Nairobi, Tenwick Hospital is a rural 300- bed hospital serving a very large undeserved area.
The hospital employs over 500 local Kenyan workers and has significant international support. World Medical Mission supports the hospital with logistics and helps volunteers travel to Tenwick and that is how I got involved to help with their Orthopedic Surgical load.
There were many fractures and infections when I arrived and a team of Kenyan residents and surgeons who were certainly grateful for the additional help. I was able to operate every day, performing between 3-5 surgeries, working with the resident and attending surgeons to help teach them techniques I often use. Not surprisingly, they taught me so much about themselves, their culture, techniques, and how to perform fairly sophisticated surgery with often less than ideal equipment.
Overall, it was a very positive experience and I plan on going back, perhaps even with my family. The Kenyan people were very enjoyable and genuine and the country has many beautiful areas and safaris that will be fun to explore in the future.
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Fight Off Those Holiday Pounds!
Need an excuse to stay in shape this holiday season? Look no further- I have the perfect event for you to participate in to shed those holiday pounds – The Shoreline Candy Cane Dash! I started the event 15 years ago as a community 5K fun run in Shoreline, and now the Dash has become a North Seattle holiday tradition and a great opportunity to stay in shape and celebrate the holiday season!
New this year, my partners and I at the Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle have provided the lead sponsorship, encouraging all to use this event as an opportunity to have an active community event on your busy calendar of festive, but fattening dinner parties! Enjoy the scenic flat suburban 3.1 mile course while sweating off that holiday guilt.
Registration is $20 and includes a timing chip, long sleeve t-shirt and a chance at many prizes. The race is organized by two Shorecrest High School seniors (one, my young energetic sister!) completing their senior project and all proceeds go to support similar unfunded projects and the Shorecrest cross country team.
Don’t delay! Sign up now at www.candycanedash.weebly.com or stop by my office for a registration form and reserve a spot on your busy holiday schedule for an opportunity to stretch those muscles and support a great local cause!