Study looks at Google Glass to bring toxicology specialists to remote emergency rooms

From Medical News Today:

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have found that Google Glass, a head-mounted streaming audio/video device, may be used to effectively extend bed-side toxicology consults to distant health care facilities such as community and rural hospitals to diagnose and manage poisoned patients. Published in theJournal of Medical Toxicology, the study also showed preliminary data that suggests the hands-free device helps physicians in diagnosing specific poisonings and can enhance patient care.

“In the present era of value-based care, a toxicology service using hands-free devices, such as Google Glass, could conceivably expand its coverage area and enhance patient care, while potentially decreasing overall treatment costs,” said Peter R. Chai, MD, toxicology fellow at UMass Medical School. “Our work shows that the data transmitted by Google Glass can be used to supplement traditional telephone consults, validate bedside physical exams, and diagnose and manage patients.”

Traditional telemedicine devices usually consist of large desktop or laptop computers affixed to a big cart that has to be rolled from exam room to exam room. This limits both access and functionality in a busy emergency room setting.

“Glass is positioned perfectly as an emergency medicine telemedical device. Its small, hands free and portable, so you can bring it right to the bedside and have a real-time specialist with you when you need one,” said Dr. Chai.