Google Glass technology has already successfully bridged time and space to bring specialists together in the surgical suite and hospital training centers in the US and Europe. This spring Harvard Medical School initiated a test program for a new diagnostic app called Remedy that enables faster clinical diagnoses and more robust collaboration among front line physicians and specialists.
Beam (the software behind the Remedy app) allows health care personnel to connect with remote colleagues via a secure cloud-based platform that goes beyond traditional telemedicine channels. The cutting edge technology allows physicians to send audio/visual clips to consultants for review and feedback. Unlike other tele-health solutions, Beam allows both synchronous and asynchronous consultations.
According to Noor Siddiqui, co-founder of Remedy, one of the most useful aspects of the app is the ability to condense an hour-long exam into a brief snapshot of the chief complaints and symptoms necessary for a consultant to offer feedback and treatment plans. In conjunction with electronic health records, these visual shared-files provide specialists with all the data necessary to evaluate each case without having to personally see the patient face-to-face.
Improving Patient Experience and Outcomes
We can see many advantages for patients when physicians bring Google Glass technology and Beam software into the exam room. Convenience is a factor. Patients often wait weeks to see a specialist – this technology means wait times can be reduced or eliminated altogether. When an appointment is necessary, coordinating and scheduling that appointment is simplified. And, portable health records are accessible instantly under the HIPPA umbrella to protect privacy.
Siddiqui says the technology was specifically designed with visual elements to reduce medical errors and heighten accuracy in patient records – both critical to receiving high quality and appropriate medical care.
Improving Physician Experience and Practice Management
From the provider’s perspective, we also see many advantages. Managing time and billable servicesefficiently are two key benefits of using Google Glass and the Remedy app. Specialists can set aside designated time for responding to non-emergency consultation requests. The ability to shorten the time necessary to reach an accurate diagnosis without compromising patient health can increase revenue without extending office hours or hiring additional staff.
For urgent situations, consultants tap into electronic health records with a digital pin and see what the attending physician sees in real-time via the Google Glass camera. The app also has great potential to maximize supervisory and training efforts. Collaboration across multiple environments becomes more efficient and productive.
Along with our other state-of-the art medical management tools, innovative technology like smart glasses and apps that enable visual consultation without geographical borders is improving health care delivery, controlling costs and enhancing quality of life for all stakeholders.
Last Updated on August 18, 2014