'Google Glass helped me save a life' says doctor, as Google push medical applications

Glass offers professionals internet access while keeping their hands free

Google has launched a new initiative aimed at showcasing the practical capabilities of Google Glass, including testing the device in various medical settings.

In one trial in the US a doctor reported that the wearable computer helped him to save a patient’s life by providing quick access to medical records. Dr. Steven Horng from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center used Glass when a patient with bleeding in the brain was brought into the hospital.

The patient needed blood pressure drugs to stop a haemorrhage but told Horng that he was allergic to some of them and couldn’t remember which. Instead of looking through the man’s medical files by hand or searching on a computer Horng called up the information on Glass and was able to administer the life-saving medication.

The story, first reported by the Boston Globe, is one of several that have emerged at the same time as Google announces the Glass for Work initiative, which the company hopes will primarily help jobs in which an internet connection is often needed but not always readily available.

The internet giant has set up a number of trial schemes with a range of institutions. As well as hospitals, they've also supplied Glass to various sports teams, with the wearable computer used to live-stream footage from the player's perspective to both fans and coaches.

In order to bolster the medical utility of Glass, Google has partnered with Wearable Intelligence, a company that builds specialised software for the device that adapts to it a number of industries – including medicine:

The company’s medical software allows doctors to tap into patients’ data (which will not be shared with Google) only when connected to the hospital Wi-Fi – a tweak that lessens the chance of a stolen device being used to reveal sensitive information to outsiders.

The device is also being trialled in the UK at Newcastle University, where research funded by Google is used to help individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The device allowed wearers to offset their motor symptoms (including rigidity and tremors) by accessing the web with voice commands, as well as providing reminders about taking medicine.

Although there are still many privacy concerns surrounding Glass (facial recognition remains a worry for many, despite Google banning its use), Google are hoping that putting the technology in the hands of trusted professionals will help abate some of the stigma.

However, there still seems to be some underlying distaste regarding the technology. Although one of the doctors trialling Glass in the US reported that patients were never more than “intrigued” by the device, the actual users in the Nottingham trial were less comfortable.

Patients mentioned a number of problems including the possibility that the device would make them a target for thieves and that the video streaming function could be abused by “overly concerned relatives” who use Glass as way to “control family members with a medical condition”.

When wearing the device out and about there were also mixed reports regarding public reaction. Some user said that the attention was “not excessive” while others found it “quite hostile”. “People were looking at me. They were staring,” said one user. “It was almost like [they were thinking] ‘you’re up to something’.”

Both these trials in the US and UK have interesting implications for the future of Glass. While the wearable technology obviously has lots of applications outside of mainstream use, it looks like it will be more quickly accepted in professions with built-in authority (the doctors in the US) than when worn by the general public (the Parkinson's sufferers).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

    Sales Representative, Birmingham

    £25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

    Juniper Security Consultant

    £300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Juniper Security Consultant London (Greater)

    C# .NET Developer (SQL, ASP.NET, JS, MVC) London - Finance

    £50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment