Google Glass: Scalpel Please

A surgeon at a Maine hospital has performed what’s being touted as the first surgical procedure broadcast using Google Glass.

Rafael Grossman, MD, FACS, inserted a feeding tube in a procedure known as a PEG, or a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy, and streamed video from Google Glass while taking care to maintain the patient’s privacy, he wrote last week on his blog. Dr. Grossman has previously used a tedx presentation to highlight the poor access to the nation’s trauma centers and lack of trauma coverage, primarily in rural states and areas.

While wearing his Glass device, Grossman streamed video from the device through a Google Hangout he set up between Glass and a Google+ account he created. Additionally, Grossman brought an iPad to the operating room that displayed what he was seeing through Glass, giving viewers and colleagues a chance to witness the procedure through his eyes.

“By performing and documenting this event, I wanted to show that this device and its platform are certainly intuitive tools that have a great potential in healthcare, and specifically for surgery, could allow better intra-operative consultations, surgical mentoring and potentiate remote medical education, in a very simple way,” Grossman wrote.

Grossman described using Glass as “unobtrusive and second nature” throughout the procedure, according to Forbes. Glass’ potential as a teaching tool for surgeons is “tremendous,” he said.

“I was able to show not just the patient’s abdomen, but also the endoscopic view, in a very clever, simple and inexpensive way,” Grossman wrote.

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