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Is there a place for Google Glass in the operating room?

Posting in Design

Google Glass, the futuristic eyewear that's equipped with a camera, can shoot video, compose emails and use other specially designed apps, is being tested by educators and students, disabled men and women, rock stars and even Wall Street traders.

And it's increasingly showing up in hospitals and even operating rooms.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Pierre Theodore recently performed surgery wearing Google Glass, an experience he shared during a talk at the Health Innovation Summit, reported the WSJ.

Theodore, a surgeon at the University of California San Francisco Medial Center, said he could alternate between looking at his patient and that same patient's medical imagery on the lens. The experience has sold the former Google Glass skeptic on the technology.

He's not the only one who sees a future for Google Glass in the healthcare industry. Nor is he the first to perform surgery wearing the device. Earlier this year, trauma surgeon and "Google explorer" Rafael Grossmann wore the device while inserting a feeding tube. He used the device's camera to stream the procedure on the Internet and later wrote about the experience on his blog.

Augmedix, an early-stage startup aiming to bring Google Glass applications to healthcare providers, was also at the Health Innovation Summit, a conference held by medical-technology incubator Rock Health. The company hasn't revealed many details about its plans. Its teaser video simply shows a doctor putting on Google Glass, smiling and then cutting away.

Based on Augmedix CEO Ian Shakil's discussion at the conference, the company seems interested in using Google Glass to streamline all of the time-intensive tasks outside of the operating room.

Hartford Hospital in Connecticut was one of the recipients of Google Glass, which is currently in the developer-only stage. Staff at the hospital's Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation are currently testing the device, reported the Hartford Courant.

Photo: Google

— By on August 13, 2013, 8:45 PM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure