Like many new technologies, Google Glass has generated its fair share of buzz. In addition to the features it offers to everyday users, there's been a lot of speculation about its more practical uses, such as in the healthcare setting. More recently, an ACL surgery was performed at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Centre using Google Glass the first use of the technology during a surgical procedure. While this use of Google Glass only involved doctors sharing a real-time view of the surgery with colleagues and medical students located elsewhere, those in the industry think that the technology could be utilized for other healthcare-related purposes in the future. For example, using voice commands, doctors can instantly call up pertinent patient information, including lab results, imaging scans, and pathology reports. While similar features are offered by smart phones, Google Glass provides a better hands-free option there's no need to hold the phone to view information or images, and it doesn't require a separate headset/microphone.

Other potential applications for Google Glass include providing clinicians and hospital staff with decision-making capabilities and alerts and reminders, while this blog post also cites the possibility for hospitals to use the technology to help them meet part of Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, namely by assisting in the proper dosage and administration of medications. This interesting infographic highlights a number of pros and cons of the technology, including possible uses for healthcare providers and for patients. Some of the most interesting potential patient applications include using Google Glass to monitor patients virtually, to use translation apps to help overcome language barriers between patients and their doctors, and to enable patients to make more health-conscious shopping choices.

Although there are likely going to be initial obstacles to overcome before Google Glass will be used on a widespread basis in healthcare settings privacy concerns and security issues will definitely pose challenges the opportunities  for such a technology (from Google or otherwise) are endless, especially as modern technologies continue to revolutionize the healthcare space.

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