April 21, 2015

...AND CHEAPER...:

Google Glass In The ER? Health Care Moves One Step Closer To Star Trek ... (Lisa Gillespie April 20, 2015, Kaiser Health News)

Researchers did just this for a small sample of people at the emergency room of the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. They found during the course of the study that 93.5 percent of patients who were seen with a skin problem liked the experience, and 96.8 percent were confident in the accuracy of the video equipment and that their privacy was protected.

"There had been a lot of talk about using Glass in health care, but at the time that we designed the study, no one had actually tried it. No one knew if it would work," said Megan Ranney, a study author and assistant professor of emergency medicine and policy at Brown University.

ER doctors normally have to page an on-call specialist - in the study, a dermatologist -- to talk through the patient's condition. With that information, the dermatologist makes a judgment call about the treatment, usually without ever seeing the patient. If there's no dermatologist available, which can frequently be the situation, doctors do what they can but then refer the patient for follow-up dermatological care. Many rural and community hospitals do not have dermatologists on staff and it's up to the emergency physician to care for the patient.

In the study, researchers instead had the physicians connect via Google Glass, enabling the specialist to see on his or her office iPad or computer what the ER doctor was seeing in person. The ER doctor was able to communicate with the dermatologist, and both physicians could ask questions of the patient in real time.

"You've rolled the first and second visit into this one visit. You have the specialist at the bedside, and if you get better, you don't need to have follow-up," said Paul Porter, a physician in the emergency department of Rhode Island Hospital and study author. "There's nothing more frustrating [for the patient than] to be seen, leave with diagnostic uncertainty, and have to go somewhere else. ... People don't want that answer."

Posted by at April 21, 2015 6:26 PM
  

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