The University of California at Irvine's School of Medicine will be integrating Google Glass technology into is curriculum, which may make it the first medical school to do so.
The wearable computing technology will be used in both first- and second-year anatomy courses and clinical skills training as well as third- and fourth-year hospital rotations at UC Irvine School of Medicine. UC Irvine says the technology will be able to broadcast and record patient care and student training activities using proprietary software, which they say is compliant with the 1996 federal Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA).
The effort will start this month, with 10 pairs of Glass to be used in the operating room and emergency department for third and fourth year students. In August, they will add up to 30 more pairs when first- and second-year students begin course work. It will be used, in this setting, to "transmit real-time patient-physician encounters in specific disease areas to augment the basic science lecture," UC Irvine says.
“I believe digital technology will let us bring a more impactful and relevant clinical learning experience to our students,” stated Ralph V. Clayman, M.D., dean of medicine. “Our use of Google Glass is in keeping with our pioneering efforts to enhance student education with digital technologies – such as our iPad-based iMedEd Initiative, point-of-care ultrasound training and medical simulation. Enabling our students to become adept at a variety of digital technologies fits perfectly into the ongoing evolution of healthcare into a more personalized, participatory, home-based and digitally driven endeavor.”
The technology has already been implemented at UC Irvine Medical Center in operating rooms, intensive care units and the emergency department testing out its potential impact on physician efficiency and patient safety. Other medical facilities are integrating Google Glass into care and care studies as well. At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, they have begun to use Google Glass in an emergency department setting.
“The most promising part is having patients wear Glass so that our students can view themselves through the patients’ eyes, experience patient care from the patients’ perspective, and learn from that information to become more empathic and engaging physicians,” stated Warren Wiechmann, M.D., assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of instructional technologies, who will oversee implementation of the Google Glass four-year program.
Google Glass joins other technologies at the core of the iMedEd Initiative in the School of Medicine. This initiative has students use technological devices, like the iPad and now Google Glass, to enhance care and is being supported by philanthropic contributions.