Google Glass in Emergency, state-level laws remain a barrier

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(PUBLIMED) – Emergency providers are among the first in health care to experiment with Google Glass, a computer that is worn like a traditional set of glasses, enabling clinicians to pull up critical information from a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR) or call for assistance without looking away from the patient. Special applications of the device can also be used to facilitate telemedicine consults with specialists while patients are still in the ED. According to early users, protecting patient privacy has not been a problem in early applications of the device. However, state-level laws remain a barrier to large-scale implementation of the technology in some regions. Emergency providers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA, see Google Glass as another platform for their ED information system. The approach is being used to facilitate hands-free communications and to expedite workflow. At Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, RI, emergency providers are testing a telemedicine application for Glass that enables providers to connect patients with off-site dermatologists while they are still in the ED, eliminating the need for additional specialty appointments. Early users believe that Glass and similar innovations will eventually play a strong role in preventing readmissions by providing remote care to patients, especially in the first few days following discharge from the hospital or ED.

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