US hospitals trial diagnosis by Google Glass

A US hospital is testing the effectiveness of Google Glass for medical care in a limited trial.

Rhode Island Hospital has equipped physicians with Google's smart spectacles, according to the Brown Daily Herald. These stream video to a dermatologist on call, allowing the doctor to examine the patient over the internet.

"It's pretty much like the dermatologist is in the room," said study participant and emergency medicine resident Roger Wu.

He said Glass makes physician consultations more efficient, allowing faster access to specialists who know more than general consultation physicians.

Ismail Nabeel, an assistant professor of general internal medicine at Ohio State University, would like to see some improvements to Glass before widespread medical adoption. He would like the camera to follow the user's eye movement, for example, and sit closer to the centre of the user's face.

Glass has other issues. IT Pro tested a pair and had issues with recording. A Google rep put the frames' battery life at 45 minutes of recording video. They also heat up, making them problematic for all-day use in a medical setting.

Glass is also being tested by Wearable Intelligence at a Boston Hospital, a company looking to bring it into healthcare. It gave a Glass headset to Dr. Steve Hong, who said it has already saved one life by letting him see a patient's allergy information without using his hands.

Surgeons have done similar actions by recording procedures or streaming them for students to watch later.

Healthcare made IT Pro's list of the best possible uses for Google Glass.