On June 20th, 2013, I performed the first surgery ever documented with Google Glass.
Ever since I first saw Glass, earlier that year, while attending “Singularity University”, at the NASA Research facility in Silicon Valley, watching a live demonstration directly from its inventor, Babak Parviz, I was immediately convinced that this wearable computer platform, was going to “*rock the system*”, disrupting paradigms of care and teaching, and creating a new way of thinking and creativity, only limited by the imagination of users and developers.
Only a few months later, that prediction has proven itself absolutely true, with the fast development of many similar concepts, like the Epson Moverio, Meta, HoloLens, AtheerGlass, etc.
I believe that we have only seen the “tip of the iceberg” yet, and that the spark that Google Glass ignited is going to spread very quickly given that technology develops exponentially and that there’s a real need for innovation and “Creative Destruction” in our healthcare system.
Doing the first surgery was a very intuitive and simple action. After appropriately obtaining permission from patient and family, I just put the device on, and began operating naturally. The difference was in the fact that instead of having the students cramming behind my back to try to “see something” in the surgical field, to be able to learn, they just watched and listened comfortably from a safe distance, appreciating the exact point of view of my own eyes, interacting with me in real time, asking and answering questions.
The magic really was in the capabilities of the device itself, and the fact that I had previously set up a second account, to myself, to be able to “broadcast” the live video and audio of the case, from my perspective to a specific, single and secure address, allowing the viewers to have a “virtual presence”, interactive, learning experience.
The process of setting it up was very simple. Connectivity was very good, given the internet speed at the time of the experience.Audio was acceptable, although background noise had to be kept intentionally low, so that it would not negatively interfere with my own voice broadcast.
The video quality was high definition, as per the units specifications.
Battery was not an issue, because it was a short duration case, hence overheating of the unit did not occur.
There was *NOT* any element of distraction or obstruction of my attention or sight respectively. I just performed the procedure as I would normally do, had I not being wearing the device.
After finishing the case, I wrote a post in my blog about the whole experience, just wanting to reverently let people know about what I had done, and how it had gone.
The informative post was very simple (I’m not a writer!), but luckily it did caught the attention of my good friend John Nosta, @JohnNosta, who is indeed a writer!).
He wrote about it, the news spread somewhat virally, and the rest is history. Good history. Because that brief experience changed my professional life in a very positive way, allowing me to become a better speaker, an advocate of the power of innovation technology in healthcare and education. A medical futurist of sorts who proved that sometimes it is good to be Bold and follow your passion and instincts, to pursue goals and a beliefs.
Innovation does not happen without Disruption. But remember, it is not easy; “The More Disruption, the More Obstruction”…you will encounter!.