As per new study describing first plastic surgery procedure performed using Google Glass, the “wearable technology” has a wide range of possible applications in plastic surgery with the potential to enhance surgical training, medical documentation and patient safety.
The article of Stanford University includes a report on the first plastic surgery procedure performed using Glass. Highlighting the possibilities and challenges of integrating the new technology into surgical practice and education, the researchers noted that Google Glass is an exciting technology, attracting global interest from multiple industries, professions and individuals.
With the ability to control the device hands-free using voice commands, touch, or head position, Glass is a natural technological addition to the operating room and in their review, Christopher R. Davis and Lorne K. Rosenfield identify surgical procedures performed using Google Glass from multiple specialties.
They also present Rosenfield’s experience in performing the first plastic surgery procedure with Glass, an eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) performed in combination with a facelift procedure.
This experience illustrated some challenges for future refinement, including the limited resolution of the video camera, technical difficulties in streaming, and the need for the surgeon to keep the head in a fixed position. In subsequent procedures, Rosenfield fashioned a head-mounted extra-wide LED light to improve clarity for video viewers as well as for the surgeon.
The ability to demonstrate surgical procedures, live or recorded, has obvious applications for training in plastic surgery and other disciplines. Glass may also be useful in providing rapid access to medical documentation. This might even reduce the spread of infection from handling pens and paper, computers, and other sources.
Although many challenges remain, Davis and Rosenfield remain “very bullish” about the potential uses Google Glass in surgery. They also note that “logistical, ethical, and hospital legislative issues” will need to be addressed before Glass can be fully embedded within everyday clinical care.