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Google Glass in Veterinary Medicine?

What is a VetGizmo? From time to time VMD Tech will highlight some emerging and innovative pieces of technology that have the potential to impact veterinary medicine now or in the near future. Let’s call them VetGizmos. Other VetGizmo Spotlights

The first installment: Google Glass.

Google Glass for Veterinary Medicine? Most self-respecting techies have at least heard of Google Glass. As a veterinary professional, I think you should know about it too.

What is it? The not-yet-publicly-released Google Glass is essentially a smartphone that you wear as pseudo-glasses. It allows you to see the internet and everything else a smartphone does in a hands free way by using voice commands as controls and by projecting the “screen” in your field of vision. It is developed by Google X, Google’s research arm dedicated to developing futuristic technology (also working on driverless cars).

Glass potentially has unprecedented implications in veterinary medicine, especially in medical teaching hospitals. But will it catch on? Here’s a graphic detailing how it works:

The Future of Google Glass There are two schools of thought regarding the future uses for Google Glass:

1. The social and privacy implications are ridiculous (Saturday Night Live’s take here)

2. It is innovative, unique, and will positively impact our world. Case in point: in June 2013, the first report of Google Glass emerges in medicine via a Maine physician (video below).

Want More Information? How Google Glass is Changing Medical Education by Forbes.

Still skeptical? There are many other potential implications for our care of animals – imagine an overnight nurse effortlessly linking you to the live video of a hospitalized patient, a veterinarian in rural Alaska consulting a university professor in California, a cardiologist evaluating an EKG strip with you in real time, or a radiologist looking at a live feed of your ultrasound. What about wearing Google Glass in surgery and seeing the CT image of a patient overlaying their actual body during a procedure? Or seeing live vital signs on Google Glass while doing CPR on a patient? The future looks to be dorky…dorky-awesome!

So which Google Glass do you think will emerge? “Peacock!”


About the Author

Dr. Caleb Frankel is an ER veterinarian, author, speaker, and entrepreneur. He currently divides his time between two roles: emergency veterinarian at VSEC, a 70-doctor referral hospital in Greater Philadelphia, PA (USA) and the founder of Instinct Science, a new animal health company helping the world’s state-of-the-art veterinary practices streamline their care through medically-driven invoicing and thoughtful automation.

He served as Director of New Product Development at Brief Media for 4 years where he lead the development and launch of products such as Plumb's Veterinary Drugs and New York Vet. Follow Dr. Frankel on Twitter @VMDtechnology.

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