One of America’s Largest Hospitals Brings Google Glass Into the ER

ONE OF AMERICA’S LARGEST HOSPITALS BRINGS GOOGLE GLASS INTO THE ER
BOSTON’S BETH ISRAEL DEACONNESS MEDICAL CENTER, ONE OF AMERICA’S LARGEST HOSPITALS, IS TESTING GOOGLE GLASS IN THEIR ER SO DOCTORS DON’T HAVE TO BREAK EYE CONTACT WITH PATIENTS WHILE TREATING THEM.
BY NEAL UNGERLEIDER
Patients at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center (BIDMC) might notice something different if they end up in the emergency room: Their doctors wear Google Glass. The huge hospital is at the forefront of a movement that uses augmented reality technology to improve service, efficiency, and comfort in the waiting room. Since December 2013, four ER doctors have been sporting neon, hunter’s-orange Google Glasses on the job–and more than 10 other clinicians have been participating in testing Google Glass out.IT LOOKS WEIRD, BUT IT’S BETTER THAN STARING AT A TABLET OR A LAPTOP
When the hospital’s Glass trial began, BIDMC placed giant QR codes by the entrace of every emergency department patient room (see picture below). The Glasses run modified versions of BIDMC’s in-house emergency department dashboard software and are used primarily to scan the QR codes on the wall; once the code is scanned, the dashboard software brings up patient records, test results, vital data, and other information. Instead of this information being displayed in a notebook, a laptop, or a tablet like at most other hospitals, the data streams into Glass; the idea is that the clinician is able to maintain eye contact with the patient during the entire consultation. “It looks weird, but it’s better than staring at a tablet or a laptop,” CTO John Halamka told Fast Company. Every time a patient is moved out of a room, the QR code is refreshed so it brings up information for the next patient.

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Image: courtesy of John Halamka/BIDMC
According to health IT expert Brian Ahier, an internal memo at BIDMC indicated that staffers are reacting with a mix of intrigue and skepticism to the Glass pilot, while patients seem to be fascinated or puzzled by Glass in the ER. One emergency department doctor, Steven Horng, told Ahier that there are advantages to the platform: In one case, Horng was dealing with a patient with a massive brain bleed. Glass automatically pushed the patient’s allergy information and medical regimen into Horng’s field of vision, which gave Horng critical extra time for reversing blood thinners that he might otherwise have spent turning to a laptop or notepad.
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BIDMC’s Glass setup was customized by the hospital for workflow and security reasons. All Google components on the Glasses were replaced, so no data goes to Google’s servers–everything stays within BIDMC’s firewall. The hospital’s emergency department dashboard was further modified by startup Wearable Intelligence for use on Glass.
The hospital was previously featured inFast Company for their data triage work in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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