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Google Glass Finalists Roundup: Killer Apps Part 1

As you know, April 23 is the Final Smackdown, where we’ve invited the top 12 challengers from the last 2 months of the Google Glass Challenge to live-pitch their ideas. Ten finalists will fly into the MedTech Boston Mecca to compete at the Boston Google Headquarters. Who are these talented clinicians, and what will we expect from them?

Clinical documentation was a central theme in this Challenge, as it is time-consuming and has been cited as a reason for decreased morale. According to a study by Andrew Gottschalk and Susan Flocke in the Annals of Family Medicine, “Time Spent in Face-to-Face Patient Care and Work Outside of the Examination Room,” published in November 2005, nearly one half of a primary care physician’s workday is spent on activities outside the examination room, predominately focused on follow-up and documentation.

Todd Theman, MD, surgical intern at Massachusetts General Hospital; Matthew Snyder, Biomedical Science and MBA Candidate at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Ed Chung, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer of the New England Market of Tenet Healthcare; and Maulik Majmudar, MD, Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital all addressed documentation in different ways.

Todd Theman, MD, surgical intern at Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Theman’s proposed “GoogleDoc” is Google Glass combined with speech-to-text and other software that has the capacity to perform real-time medical documentation. One judge tells us “This is a popular use case for Glass and is feasible on the current hardware platform.” A technical difficulty may be in the fact that “speech to text transcription has improved over the last few years but is far from perfect.  It would help to save the audio files alongside the text output.”

Matthew Snyder, Biomedical Science and MBA Candidate at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

With a slightly different name, Mr. Snyder’s proposed “Google Glass Dictation” will allow for “100% of the healthcare professional’s focus to be on the patient at all times, letting Google Glass handle the documentation of symptoms and information.” One judge tells us, “I believe the idea is intuitively good. A wearable device like GoogleGlass has the potential to improve the way that providers and patients connect. The “eye-to-eye” link is certainly improved, since the information is displayed right in front of the user’s eye.”

Ed Chung, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer of the New England Market of Tenet Healthcare

Taking the idea to a more specific Code setting, Dr. Chung’s “Code Glass” is s specially configured Google Glass that, when activated and worn by a code leader or other code team member, can collect video and audio recordings of the entirety of a code with minimal startup time and intrusiveness. One judge says, “I foresee that this technology would be very helpful in these highly charged, chaotic medical situations, and while I agree with the rationale for this idea I would argue that the leader is not the right person to wear this tool.”

Maulik Majmudar, MD, Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at the Massachusetts General Hospital

Finally, Dr. Majmudar sees the benefit of Glass in the surgical suite. His “Scribe: A real-time, dynamic Google Glass enabled dictation system” would allow for real-time recording (dictation) of the surgical procedure at the time of the operation. Given the added benefit of picture and video functionalities on the Google Glass, Scribe will support gesture based recording of snapshot images, as well as video recordings, of the actual procedure. One judge felt this is a great use case and says, “This is a very powerfully subtle and straightforward use case. The success of this app will depend on how the voice notes are captured and the quality of the transcription (possible with the current GDK). If the input is captured as free dictation, the note will be less structured and it will not be as usable. I would consider a series of prompts or questions to define the note in a templated format that can be easily parsed and analyzed later. The ease of data entry is the key differentiating factor here and could prompt the surgeon to record additional information that they may not have considered when typing or handwriting this information.”

Come to the April 23 live pitch-off to see which Google Glass documentation idea will win!

You can connect with Jennifer Joe, MD, on www.medstro.com.

Jennifer M. Joe, MD

Jennifer M. Joe, MD

    My passion is healthcare optimization, whether that is with innovation, making scientific discoveries, or improving delivery. I love bringing people and ideas together and making projects work. With this, medicine exists to improve lives, and I will strive to always help patients and those around me.

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