Eye health professionals are among those who may benefit from Google’s new Glass Enterprise Edition, a lightweight wearable computer designed for industry. After two years working with expert partners to customise applications for specific industries, the product is now being used by more than 50 businesses from the manufacturing, logistics, field services, and healthcare sectors.
The original Google Glass Explorer was developed by X (formerly Google X) for the consumer market. The optical head-mounted display, with camera, was affixed to spectacle frames and displayed information in a smartphone-like hands-free format.
The prototype was sold to ‘Glass Explorers’ in 2013, for a limited period for US$1,500, before being made available to the broader public in 2014. In 2015, Google announced it would stop producing the Google Glass prototype, however promised a new development in 2017.
Glass Enterprise Edition is clipped onto glasses or industry frames like safety goggles and gives workers access to training videos, images annotated with instructions, or quality assurance checklists, while their hands are busy.
Glass Enterprise Edition can be clipped onto glasses or industry frames like safety goggles
Improvements to the design and hardware ensure it is lighter and more comfortable to wear for several hours, while increased power and a longer battery life make the device more practical. It takes clearer pictures, including in low light and connects with other devices, such as keyboards and barcode scanners.
Healthcare professionals using Glass have access to an application called ‘a remote scribe’ developed by Google partner Augmedix. The scribe is trained in the medical professional’s particular specialisation and practice style and is able to take notes and provide responses to questions during the consultation. This means that instead of typing on a computer or looking through records during consultations, ECPs can more effectively connect with patients by looking them in the eye, listening as they talk, and asking questions without the need to type up patient notes. The service is encrypted end-to-end and, according to Augmedix, strict operational protocols are in place to safeguard patient health information. Patient notes are prepared in real time and completed within minutes of the consultation concluding. At Dignity Health, Chief Medical Information Officer, Dr. Davin Lundquist says that in addition to improving their quality of care, Glass has reduced time spent typing up patient notes and other administrative work from 33 per cent of their day to less than 10 per cent. Additionally it has doubled the amount of time they interact with patients.
Glass devices and software solutions are currently sold and supported exclusively through the Glass Partners network. Augmedix provides an all-in-one subscription service.