Health & Medicine

Surgeons eye Google Glass for use in the operating room

The University of California, San Francisco, is the first in the nation to receive Institutional Review Board approval for the use of Google Glass during surgeries.

Already, Dr. Pierre Theodore, a cardiothoracic surgeon at UCSF has performed 10 or 15 planned surgeries using Google Glass, according to a report in HealthLeaders Media.

Theodore noted that surgeons already use eyewear that magnifies the surgery site, so wearing Glass would not be such a stretch. To use Glass, radiographic images are transfered from a secure site, with all personal health and identifying information stripped away. The surgeon can then access the images while performing the procedure.

The images are important because they can help the surgeon guide her scapel to the exact position needed.

One potential problem is that Google Glass depends on wi-fi to operate and operating rooms contain equipment that can interfere with the service. Another problem? Making absolutely sure that identifying information is stored separately from the image, which must bounce off a cloud and moves over the Internet, presenting a possible security hazard.