Surgeons from Valley Medical Group, an entity of Valley Health System, recently had an opportunity to get acquainted with Google Glass, the wearable technology that is seeing application at hospitals across the country.
The devices are the property of a Bergen County software and marketing company who chose Valley as a location for a demonstration. Under simulated operating room conditions, surgeons were able to equip themselves with Google Glass to evaluate its potential utility.
“I was pleased to have the opportunity to try Google Glass in an OR demonstration,” said Alex Zapolanski, M.D., Director of Cardiac Surgery. “This was only our first opportunity to try out the device, and it is too early to tell if it will have a role in the OR at Valley, but the technology is quite exciting and has a number of potential applications that could be helpful in a clinical setting.”
The device’s ability to transmit images and video in real time via a wireless connection was explored. Images from the doctors’ Google Glass eyewear were displayed on mobile devices in the operating room.
The most obvious potential benefit of Google Glass is as an educational tool, allowing doctors to capture or transmit images for use at medical conferences and other forums. Because the device is hands-free, it allows a surgeon to maintain full manual dexterity while operating.
It remains to be seen if the device will make its way into a Valley operating room, but this recent demonstration gave doctors an opportunity to “see the future” and consider future utilization.
Left to right: Robert J. Korst, M.D., Medical Director of The Blumenthal Cancer Center and Director of Thoracic Surgery; Alex Zapolanski, M.D., Director of Cardiac Surgery; and Thomas Ahlborn, M.D., Chair, Surgical Services, Valley Medical Group.