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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

academics & research

IU research shows Google Glass transforms health care

Google Glass, a wearable technology that works similarly to any smartphone, may revolutionize health care.

When Dr. Paul Szotek stumbled upon the new technology online while looking for eyeglasses, he thought it would be beneficial in performing medical procedures.

“The Google Glass allowed us not to take our eyes off the patient, and at the same time be able to view the images,” Szotek said in a WIUX release. “So we knew it was kind of a guidance system.”

Szotek, a trauma surgeon at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, worked as a beta tester for the new device. He was the first doctor in Indiana to perform surgery with it.

With the help of the technology, Szotek successfully removed a rare type of tumor from a 45-year-old man’s stomach. During the surgery, Szotek used voice commands to view the man’s X-ray and MRI photos.

“It really is the next step in the delivery of health care, from the start of the experience for the patient to the end of the experience,” Szotek said in the release.

Szotek said he anticipates the use of this technology transferring to the classroom as well.

Students would be able to see a surgery — something they haven’t yet experienced — from the doctor’s perspective, he said.

At IU Health Methodist Hospital, students from the IU School of Medicine practice with the device in simulation rooms. Szotek can record the procedure he’s performing on a
mannequin for the students to watch.

Nitocris Perez, Emerging Technology Specialist for University Information Technology Services at IU, said Google Glass is also useful as a communication tool.

“One of the things Glass can do is you can communicate with people, basically take a video call,” Perez said in the release. “The person at the other end gets a feed of what the person wearing the Glass sees, so from that first-person perspective with the camera.”

Perez and Szotek agree that the Glass can potentially be most important in emergency situations, like when an accident occurs.

“So if I’m a physician sitting back at the level one trauma center, I can actually see the accident and wreck on the scene,” Szotek said. “I can help direct the resuscitation on the scene all the way until they get to the hospital.”

Grace Palmieri

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