According to a new study, the high-tech eye-wear device ‘Google Glass’ can be a useful tool in surgical settings, especially when it comes to training.

Google Glass is worn like traditional glasses, but that combines a computerized central processing unit, touch-pad, display screen, high-definition camera, microphone, bone-conduction transducer, and wireless connectivity.

The device helps make hands-free telephone calls, look up billing codes, do Internet searches for unfamiliar medical terms or syndromes, hands-free photo/video documentation and so on.

However, there were also several drawbacks to the early technology including quality of the picture.

“We are just beginning to explore the functionality of this new device in Medicine and Surgery. This allows a surgeon to interact with the device without breaking scrub, even during surgery,” said Oliver Muensterer from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital of Westchester Medical Centre in New York.

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“We have used it for photo- and video documentation, for looking up rare or obscure medical conditions on-the-spot onward rounds, and even for such boring tasks as coding and billing. Considering that this is still an experimental device, it actually performed quite well.

“A big issue with Glass is how to handle patient privacy, particularly because the device connects to the Internet via WiFi and thereby streams its data through Google’s servers,” said Muensterer, lead author of the research.

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