Stanford Doc Uses Google Glass for Teaching

Doctor holding patient's hand As we promised with our first Google Glass article, we are continuing to write about this fascinating, new technology, that also has us a bit weary. A recent article of interest on, about Stanford Physician, Dr. Abraham Verghese, discusses his use of Google Glass with the Stanford Medicine 25 initiative. The program includes hands-on workshops and videos teaching 25 exam techniques, along with a healthy dose of bedside manner. Visit the link above for the list of the 25 “fundamental, technique-dependent physical diagnosis skills.”

While this isn’t rocket science (the author of the article notes that all of this could be done with a helmet camera), it is one of the first attempts to bring Google Glass into the exam room and to use it in a teaching setting. Potentially, Google Glass could be used with a video chat feature, allowing a room full of students the ability to be at the bedside without being intrusive to the patient (neither the camera nor the students) –though, obviously, patient consent would be necessary. Essentially, more intimate situations can retain the feeling of intimacy, while still allowing for a teaching opportunity. However, it is the ease of its use and its inconspicuous nature that has us a bit worried about patient privacy. How easy would it be to forget to turn off the video chat feature and inadvertently broadcast something that wasn’t meant to be broadcast?

For a view of Dr. Verghese and Google Glass in action, see this article from the Stanford website. Interestingly, while Dr. Verghese talks nicely about the first doctor-patient encounter and how significant and intimate it is, the patient interaction does not start with him introducing himself or even the history –he states that he is starting this interaction after gathering the patient history and starting with the physical exam. It would have been nice to see his introduction and a handshake modeled, especially given his lengthy discussion of the importance of the first doctor-patient interaction, then skip the history, and get to the physical exam. Just a thought.

As more is written about Google Glass, we will cover it. Stay tuned.

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