Obviously, one of the MAIN concerns regarding the use of Google Glass during surgery, with live streaming of data, would be to take every measure and to ensure the privacy of the patient’s health information (PHI).
That’s exactly what I did. Not only I obtained informed consent about what we were going to attempt (and documented it), but most importantly, made sure that no recording or transmission of any identifying information was done. The streaming of video and photos, to “myself” thru Google Glass, did not reveal any PHI, or even show the patient’s face.
By performing and documenting this event, I wanted to show that this device and its platform, are certainly intuitive tools that have a great potential in Healthcare, and specifically for surgery, could allow better intra-operative consultations, surgical mentoring and potentiate remote medical education, in a very simple way.
To my knowledge, this is the first time that Google Glass has ever been used during live surgery, by a surgeon, and Glass Explorer, with streaming of non-identifying patient information thru a Google Glass Hang-Out.
The patient involved needed a feeding tube (Gastrostomy) and we chose to placed it endoscopically, with a procedure called PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy. You can Google that to learn more…). Being the first time, I wanted to do this during a simple and commonly performed procedure, to make sure that my full attention was not diverted from taking excellent care of the patient.
I arranged for a Google Hang-Out (HO) between my Glass and a Google account I created ahead of time for this very purpose.
The connection is remote. The iPad used as a receiver was just yards away, but it could have been practically thousands of miles away.
Before starting the operation, I briefly recorded myself explaining the planned event, and once again, talked about the importance of not revealing any PHI.
I had Google Glass on at all times, with the HO active thru-out the procedure. The live video images that I saw thru Glass, were projected in the iPad screen, remotely. We kept the volume down on purpose. We tried to keep it very simple (the KISS principle!) and straight forward. As I said, even the procedure was a simple one.
I was able to show not just the patient’s abdomen, but also the endoscopic view, in a very clever, simple and inexpensive way. I think that there should be ways to directly stream the endoscopic view thru Google Glass ( My friend @Julianmb, also a Google Explorer, and his team of experts from @Droiders are working on that !) but this was a “Poor’s Man’s” set up…
The whole thing was fairly quick and went very well. We used “home-made” techniques, so the pictures and video are not optimal, but I think the point stands: Google Glass Streaming During Live Surgery…By a Glass Explorer Surgeon…IS POSSIBLE.
OK Glass: hand me the scalpel, please” !
For other links on disruptive Healthcare Innovation, watch TEDx talks, TEDx Dirigo 2011 “iPodTeletrauma, the $229, 130 million sq. ft. Trauma Room, in your pocket”,
TEDx Bermuda 2013: “OK Glass: I need a surgeon http://youtu.be/fo3RsealvGI
TEDx Dirigo 2013 : “OK Glass”:Disrupt HC http://youtu.be/DVzkw7y4_u4