Congratulations to Lilit Sargsyan, MD, as she advances to the finals of our MedTech Boston Google Glass Challenge. Dr. Sargsyan is one of 12 finalists, and we look forward to her live pitch in the April 23 Google Glass Smackdown at the Boston Google Headquarters. Dr. Sargsyan, I hope you bring a coat, as it’s a good bit chillier here than in Houston, where she’ll be flying in from. Dr Sargsyan interviewed with MedTech Boston to tell us more about her winning idea, “RemoteGuide: Remote Ultrasound Guidance Powered by Glass.”
I am a pulmonary and critical care fellow at The University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. I spend a good amount of time with an ultrasound probe in my hand, especially in the intensive care units at night. When I learned about Google Glass, I immediately wanted to join it with ultrasound scanning. Being familiar with the remote ultrasound guidance program between NASA and the International Space Station’s crew members, my next thought was to combine Glass and ultrasound to improve that process. A powerful, wearable piece of technology such as Google Glass would definitely enrich our amazing space program!
Modern digital ultrasound systems are portable, safe, versatile, involve no radiation to either the user or the patient, and provide real-time visual information amenable to immediate interpretation. These features make this imaging technology the most convenient modality for remote and underserved areas. Nevertheless, most on-site clinical providers do not possess the expertise to confidently perform appropriate scans, since performance of effective ultrasound is highly user-dependent. The operator’s expertise level may render the scan accurate and instantaneously diagnostic, or completely indeterminate. It is unrealistic to provide sufficient ultrasound training to personnel in all remote locations. Guiding the imaging procedure from a central location is therefore a necessity that is being carried out today with some success.
The current means for ultrasound remote guidance involve the operator and guide connecting on a voice link, with the guide receiving video of the ultrasound feed from the remote ultrasound machine. In some cases, a static camera is also placed at the remote scene such that the guide can see a live video feed of the scene, including the patient and operator. Two primary problems exist with this solution.
Here we propose “RemoteGuide,” a line of products for remote ultrasound guidance that can be used for any remote location. RemoteGuide addresses both the guide visibility and instruction problem by using Google Glass for feedback on the exact point of view of the operator, and for providing relevant guiding content to the operator in his/her field of vision.
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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