Google Glass is Going to Medical School
The University of California at Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine announced that it’s integrating the iconic wearable tech into its four-year curriculum for medical students.
Glass Finds its First Professional Home
Google has had the #glassexplorers program, which allows individuals to buy #Glass for personal use, but they have also donated pairs of +Google Glass to various industries and professions.
This was to see which industries found usage of the device beneficial, right out of the box. By “right out of the box,” I mean using the product as it now exists, which is essentially glasses with a built-in camera and a display that projects an Augmented Reality menu to navigate (along with a few basic apps).
The Future of Glass
Possibilities are endless. Along with releasing the base models of #Glass, Google also released Glass’s API. This means that, as we speak, developers from all over the world are testing out and building Apps made specifically for the device.
In general, it’s mutually understood that eventually #Glass will be able to (at least):
- Automatically identify objects and people, using facial recognition and object recognition (remember Google Goggles?).
- Determine which objects or people are relevant to the user.
- Present useful data, relevant to the user, about the world around them, in an augmented overlay.
All of this will happen in real-time, and only in ways that will help the user. It will be possible, but horrific, for #Glass to identify everything in view and present information about it. The idea is that #Glass will become smart enough to know when to present what info:
“Technology that’s there when you need it, and invisible when you don’t.”
This is my paraphrasing of Glass’s original mission statement, and is the entire reason for its existence. The idea is that technology is awesome and helps us in so many ways, but has negatively affected our social behavior. We text and drive, text and walk, text and eat, surf and poop, google while having conversations, and are constantly looking down at a screen.
With glass, we’re accepting that technology is too beneficial and enjoyable to cut from our lives. We’re also accepting that our current set up is not an ideal one. We’re smarter, more globally connected, and more productive, but at the cost of being less social (in life) and less engaged in our surroundings.
Wearable Technology is Born to Bring us the Best of Both Worlds
With wearable tech devices, such as Glass, we do not have to choose either being immersed in technology or being engaged in the real world. We will be able to have our cake and eat it too.
Getting to that point will take a bit of time, advancement of the technology, trial and error, and lots of tweaking (not twerking). However, it is a certainty, since all the foundational building blocks are already there.
Come back in a decade, and you’ll see a different, improved society.
The Medical Industry has demonstrated the strongest immediate benefit of utilizing this new technology. The video/audio and communication capabilities of Glass are the primary functions being used, now, but more uses will come…
Doctors Using Glass ~2024:
- A doctor, wearing #Glass, walks into a patients room.
- Glass automatically identifies the patient, using facial recognition.
- Glass pulls up the patient’s medical records.
- Glass displays the most relevant aspects of the records in an augmented overlay being projected directly into the doctor’s eye, so only he can see the info.
- The doctor says, “OK Glass, let’s do a physical exam.”
- Glass opens up a medical app for performing physical examinations on patients.
- The questions that the doctor needs to ask the patient pop up in his display.
- As he asks the questions, Glass records the patient’s responses, converting speech to text, filling out the exam.
- After the questions are complete, Glass displays the next steps for the doctor (i.e. Check blood pressure, heart rate, reflexes, temperature, ear check, throat check, etc.).
- In real-time, the Medical app is not only filling out the forms automatically, it is trained to spot certain patterns.
- This advanced pattern recognition compares live, incoming data, the patient’s history, and a database of medical knowledge, #Glass pops up a recommended diagnosis of the patient.
Yes, I know exactly what I’m implying.
This gadget, considered a high-tech, $1,500 novelty-toy by the mainstream, could essentially replace doctors (as we know them) in as soon as a decade. I don’t think doctors will be eliminated, by any means, but I do see a future where Medical school is 2 – 4 years of schooling plus another 2 – 4 years of hands-on training.
Google Glass will be the Calculators of the Medical Industry (and Several Others):
You can do complicated math problems, manually, but why would you waste the time? Do it quick on the calculator, cut time and errors, and then spend the extra time doing something actually beneficial.
Same as the future of medicine… Keep doctors, but will it be necessary for that much schooling, memorizing hoards of information, to make a diagnosis that a device can do faster and more accurately?
Doctors of the Future
- Learn the basics of the industry.
- Become a master of the tools.
- Reduce education cost and time.
- Improve ability to diagnose complex illnesses (Some illnesses may be so complex that they now cannot be discovered).
Also, use the exponentially increased productivity to:
- Personalize treatment.
- Invest more in research.
- Provide medical care in places of the world with a shortage of doctors.