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Rhode Island Hospital First in U.S. to Study Google Glass in ED

March 12, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Rhode Island Hospital in Providence says it is the first hospital in the U.S. to use Google Glass in an emergency department setting.

Using a stripped-down version of the wearable mobile video communications technology, researchers will test the efficacy of using Google Glass for real-time audio-visual consults for consented patients who require a dermatology consultation. The six-month feasibility study will be limited to patients in the Rhode Island Hospital emergency department who require a dermatology consult, and who consent to taking part in the study.

“We live in a world of instant gratification, and in many ways, we’re testing that mindset by using Google Glass to enhance telemedicine in the emergency department,” principal investigator Paul Porter, M.D., a physician in the emergency departments of Rhode Island, Hasbro Children’s and The Miriam hospitals, said in a statement. “In this study, we will use Google Glass to stream live images of a patient’s dermatological condition to the consulting dermatologist. As the emergency medicine physician observes the patient’s skin condition, the consulting dermatologist will be able to see identical images on a tablet in real time, giving the dermatologist the ability to offer appropriate advice, diagnosis and treatment options.”

Porter and researchers Peter Chai, M.D., and Roger Wu, M.D., worked with experts at Pristine, a healthcare technology communications startup, which has developed the only form of Google Glass that meets HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) standards, the hospital says. Porter says he also envisions this technology eventually being used by first responders and nursing homes as a tool to communicate with emergency medicine physicians.

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