by John Bennett MD:  Chief Editor

Google Glass is attempting to find various niches in Healthcare today, and time will eventually place it the right ones;  needs and use will dictate its exact spot  It may take a while, but let me make some predictions, knowing a little about surgery,  tech and medicine.  And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have never even been in the same room as Google Glass, but have read the same articles as some readers, seen the same videos, etc.

My prediction that Google Glass will find a very solid niche in the OR is based on two facts:

1) Slow Incorporation of Telemedicine

2) Jack Dorsey’s thoughts on the success of Twitter

Telemedicine, as most know, has really not lived up to its promise.  Sure, it is making progress, more so now with broadband, wireless tech, etc.  But great things were predicted for telemedicine, and sure, it will be there, but its widespread incorporation has been slow.  Only in places like India, and Australia has its potential even begun to be tapped.


It is not simple.  You have to have a video set-up, and most people have blind spots when it comes time to video.  And you need a tech guy running around setting up stuff.  And it does not show, DIRECTLY, the surgical field.  It is getting simpler with Google Hangouts, webcasts, and webcams, but we are not there yet.  Soon, but not yet.

In the OR, the surgeon, who always likes to be in control, is afforded the benefit of simplicity with Google Glass.  He is the director, the camerman, plus, and probably most importantly, has a great view of the surgical field.   No distractions.

  A surgeon is trained in the power and importance of exposure of the field where he or she will work.  Lighting and exposure.  Clarity.  Direct.

There is no “set-up” with Google Glass.    Google Glass, essentially another set of eyes, allows that direct, clear view.  And the control-freak surgeon directing, and filming.  And I say control-freak in a good way, would you want a mamby pamby surgeon?  Or someone not in complete charge of the situation? I am starting to ramble, so, onward, ho!

Jack Dorsey, one of the creators of Twitter, was asked why Twitter was enormously successful.  He said, essentially, that Twitter simplified communication.  Nuf’ said.

Google Glass will do the same thing.  It will simplify the surgeon being able to transmit images to wherever he or she wants, to teach,  and be able to show far-away consultants  the field of surgery.

Surgeons, hopefully, will work with Google, to refine the Google Glass Surgical Version, with design input by tech-savvy surgeons.

 I hope Sergey is reading this, so he won’t make the same mistake that EMRs made, where it seems that doctors were not allowed enough input on the final design, and the EMR industry is playing catch-up.

(I would like to get into other niches of Google Glass, like Teletrauma, but I want to keep this post simple!)

Here’s a video which shows Google Glass in the OR


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