Watch a surgeon use Google Glass in the operating room for the first time

June 24, 2013

A surgeon at a Maine hospital has performed what's being touted as the first surgical procedure broadcast using Google Glass.

A surgeon at a Maine hospital has performed what's being touted as the first surgical procedure broadcast using Google Glass.

Rafael Grossman, MD, FACS, inserted a feeding tube in a procedure known as a PEG, or a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy, and streamed video from Google Glass while taking care to maintain the patient's privacy, he wrote last week on his blog.

While wearing his Glass device, Grossman streamed video from the device through a Google Hangout he set up between Glass and a Google+ account he created. Additionally, Grossman brought an iPad to the operating room that displayed what he was seeing through Glass, giving viewers and colleagues a chance to witness the procedure through his eyes.

"By performing and documenting this event, I wanted to show that this device and its platform are certainly intuitive tools that have a great potential in healthcare, and specifically for surgery, could allow better intra-operative consultations, surgical mentoring and potentiate remote medical education, in a very simple way," Grossman wrote.

Grossman described using Glass as "unobtrusive and second nature" throughout the procedure, according to Forbes. Glass' potential as a teaching tool for surgeons is "tremendous," he said.

"I was able to show not just the patient’s abdomen, but also the endoscopic view, in a very clever, simple and inexpensive way," Grossman wrote.

Writing at iMedicalApps, Iltifat Hussain, MD, said Grossman's procedure illustrated the value that Glass can bring in linking physicians in underserved areas with colleagues thousands of miles away for remote intraoperative consultations.

"I don’t think we’re too far off from your phone pinging you with your surgical colleague asking you to take a look at a patient in the [operating room] for a second opinion," Hussain said.

 

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