When wandering through the large HIMSS 2013 exhibit hall in New Orleans this year, I am inspired by innovation and the impact of mobile technologies on healthcare. I was thinking about the article in the Atlantic Wire called “Google Glass Will Be Out Just in Time for a Very Expensive Christmas Present” and what the talent represented in the exhibit hall might create for healthcare applications. I have written about augmented reality in the past, but wanted to imagine healthcare Google Glass applications that make the $1,500 price tag come closer to a return on investment. Maybe these are technology predictions or just great ideas, but here goes. Google Glasses could:
- Overlay EMR information during primary care examinations including labs, blood pressure, previous illnesses, or surgeries based on the location that the doctor is looking at – arm, leg, head or torso. In the emergency department, pull up potential patient records for a match including accessing a Health Information Network.
- Present secure EMR information that requires privacy for the patient including behavioral health, addiction or HIV without computer monitors or paper that are less secure.
- Overlay benchmarks or trends in patient medical test results including blood glucoses levels, cholesterol, PSA or maybe only show lab values that are out of range from normal. Even better, use predictive analytics to project future health status based on the trends.
- Present inventories of supplies or locations of key medical equipment by looking at a cabinet or drawer location. Show inventories of trial medications for the indicated patient condition.
- List treatment options for identified medical conditions and/or a personalized medical plan based on best practices. Provide analytics on the successful outcomes for various treatment options to discuss with the patient.
- Search medical literature or best practices while the physician is examining the patient chart by focusing on key words or phrases, or provide medical vocabularies to guide the search.
- Enable first responders to access step-by-step instructions for first aid and doctor guided instructions for critical situations.
The power of the Google Glasses to deploy on-the-spot help and even analytics of the situation could foster many, many healthcare applications. As glasses, this technology device would be less likely a source of infection transmission as a tablet or smartphone in a typical healthcare setting.
Thanks for the inspiration HIMSS13, it is fun to both see the possibilities in the Exhibit Hall and think about what the future can bring.