Google Glass: Tennessee professor uses scarce, high-tech tool in medical education
June 12, 2014
A video of Dr. Martin Olsen describing the Google Glass role in medical education is available on YouTube for Chloe Glass
Google chose a small number of “explorers” to test the next wave in computers, and one of those beta testers is a professor at East Tennessee State University who is incorporating Google Glass into medical education at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical, head-mounted display.
Dr. Martin Olsen, director of the medical residency program in the ETSU Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is already using Google Glass in conjunction with Surgical Chloe™ – a full-body, high-fidelity surgical simulator developed via a partnership between ETSU and Gaumard Scientific – to teach medical residents and students at the College of Medicine. Olsen is one of only 8,000 people worldwide selected for a program Google calls “Google Glass explorers.” He traveled in June to New York City to buy this tiny computer that looks like high-tech eyeglasses. The device isn’t expected to be made available to the public until 2014.
Olsen said there are other physicians who are using Google Glass, but as far as he knows, ETSU is one of the very few institutions where the device is being used for medical education.
“I think Google Glass will be very important in the future of medical education and health care delivery,” Olsen said, “and it’s exciting that we have this kind of technology at ETSU and the Quillen College of Medicine.”
Google held an open contest where participants could make a case, through a short essay, why they should become a Google Glass explorer. Olsen is well versed in medical terminology and technique, but he turned to the language of poetry to convince Google that its wearable computer could enhance the training of doctors – especially through the hands-free ability to make video recordings of simulated surgical procedures and interactions with patients. The device is operated by user voice commands such as “OK, Glass, record a video” and “OK, Glass, take a picture,” or by touching a pad on the side of the unit.
Essays could be no more than 50 words or 140 characters and must include the hashtag #ifihadglass. Olsen called his winning entry “bad poetry,” but Google judged otherwise. He wrote:
Med students in the nation
Would get great surgical simulation
Improvements in patient care
Could be found in hospitals everywhere
All this could come to pass
Olsen said Google Glass dovetails seamlessly in teaching with Surgical Chloe™, a surgical simulation manikin that was developed and created by Olsen and other ETSU faculty members. Gaumard Scientific, which specializes in manufacturing simulators for health education, purchased the rights from ETSU to mass produce the Chloe prototype and is marketing Surgical Chloe™ to teaching facilities around the world.
Gaumard Scientific was so enthusiastic about the possibilities of pairing Google Glass with Surgical Chloe™ and its other simulators that the company supported Olsen’s efforts to be part of the explorer program.
Olsen said Google Glass became a vital part of learning in its first week of use alongside Surgical Chloe™ in the ETSU Human Patient Simulation Lab at Quillen. The physician maintains a Google+ site – tagged Chloe Glass – where he posts narrative and video updates that illustrate this new technology and its influence on medical education. Residents in the OB/GYN program have worn the glasses to record video during a simulated surgery, while Olsen and other faculty members can monitor that surgery in real-time from a remote monitor.
“This allows medical education to be more learner-driven,” Olsen said. “We know now that medical students and residents learn better by doing and by hands-on practicing. By learning on the simulator and recording a video from the user’s perspective, Google Glass makes for a wonderful self-evaluation tool. The learners can watch the surgical procedure they performed, and, if they made a mistake, see that mistake and correct it next time.
“When we put Google Glass on Chloe, the video is shot from a patient’s-eye perspective, and the learners saw after the patient encounter that their eye contact with the patient was not what it should be. The next day, they self-corrected. Their eye contact was exactly what it needed to be.”
Contributed by: Brad Lifford, Media Relations, ETSU
“Doctors Among Early Adopters of Google Glass” | Canadian Medical Association Journal – September 24, 2013
“Despite Practical Privacy Concerns, Doctors See Potential in Google Glass” National Journal – October 3, 2013
“O.K., Glass, Teach” Inside Higher Ed – August 21, 2013
“ETSU Uses High-Tech Google Glass” WJHL-Channel 11 – July 10, 2013
“New Google Glass Featured at ETSU’s Quillen College of Medicine” WCYB-Channel 5 – July 10, 2013
Staff Enhancements to the ETSU/QCOM Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Dr. Keith Huffaker and Dr. Selman Welt have recently joined the OB/GYN practice, enhancing service to the Department in Obstetrics, GYN, Urogynecology, maternal fetal medicine, and teaching.
In collaboration with Dr. Martin Eason, the resident education program has experienced rapid development in the area of simulation. Approximately 50 scenarios have been created which allow residents to test their knowledge and skills in all areas addressed by the six competencies. Highlights include:
- The impaired attending scenario in which the residents had an opportunity to witness a disruptive attending and then discuss physician impairment after the scenario (Interpersonal Skills and Communication)
- The Medico-Legal scenario in which the residents had an opportunity to participate in a deposition conducted by a plaintiff’s attorney and a defense attorney after a simulated shoulder dystocia event resulting in Erbs Palsy (Systems Based Practice)
- The septic abortion scenario in which the residents performed a D&C on a papaya and the simulated patient then experienced the uncommon crisis of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation after an illegal abortion. Residents were encouraged to use all information and all resources available to them to manage the patient (Practice Learning and Improvement)
- Amniotic Fluid Embolism scenario in which the residents have a chance to learn about a rare catastrophic medical condition (Medical Knowledge)
- The No Code scenario in which residents accidently perform a code after an iatrogenic event on a “no code” patient. Residents are forced to make rapid ethical decisions (Professionalism).
More Advancements in Surgical Simulation
- An ETSU design team composed of Dr. Marty Olsen, Dr. Martin Eason, Bill Hemphill, Paul Sims, and Tom Robbins has made significant progress in the area of surgical simulation. A teaching device has been used to improve resident education and has also been used to access resident candidate skills in operative technique. Patent applications are in progress. The design team has contributed to the teaching mission of the institution.
- ETSU/QCOM has invested $500,000 in establishing a simulation center. The “Patient Simulation Lab” (PSL) provides Medical Simulation in two simulated hospital rooms with state-of-the-art video and audio recording equipment. Additional simulation units have been purchased such as a urethral sling procedure trainer and a birthing simulator. We have an excellent team of inventors, who are working to develop a vaginal surgery simulator to provide opportunities to practice skills involved in performing surgical procedures in a confined space in a controlled laboratory setting
Outstanding Faculty Accomplishments
- Adjunct faculty member Bill Hemphill received a $4,000 IDC grant for “Model Design and Development for a System and Method of Teaching, Practicing, and Evaluating Surgical Techniques.”
- The Department has proceeded with the establishment of an advanced reproductive technology program. Dr. Norman Assad has led this development as the department moves toward the addition of Andrology and In Vitro Fertilizatin to the practive.