So is Google Glass actually practical for anything? A startup founded by two sisters might help the wearable technology gain acceptance by bringing the device to the medical industry.
Nurses and physician assistants verbally update the doctor on call about their patients. Now, the patient updates can be sent more efficiently and in more detail with the use of a Google Glass app.
Sisters Noor and Gina Siddiqui are the co-founders Remedy, the app for Google Glass that allows physician assistants to collect and send visual patient updates to their doctors and surgeons.
The sisters, a Thiel fellow and a medical student, conducted a pilot at several hospitals at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University that included 25 cases, eight surgeons and six physician's assistants.
The doctors wanted to have quick access to photos and data on the patients, but were not looking for in-depth visuals. Ninety-one percent of the surgeons said they found using Remedy and Google Glass useful when managing treatment.
Remedy's software Beam enables real-time viewing, where photos or videos of a patient's condition can be sent using voice commands. A doctor could remotely assess the patient and offer a diagnosis, treatment plan, or offer advice regarding a procedure through their laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The app will cut the time of a 60-minute doctor visit into a 2-minute case summary, highlighting the patient's main concerns.
"Specialists don't have the time to watch a nurse go through an entire appointment over a live video call," Siddiqui says. "[Beam] gives the specialist exactly the information she needs to respond quickly, but not so much that she is overwhelmed."
Remedy could also help patients connect with a specialist faster after the doctor shares the visuals. The Google Glass app would reduce the cases of false alarms, saving time for specialists and patients.
Consumers have concerns about their privacy when it comes to Google Glass. Those who wear Glass can take pictures and videos, and post them online without strangers knowledge.
Remedy is the only HIPAA-complaint tool for Google Glass. Noor Siddiqui says all the patients in the pilot felt comfortable with their doctors using Google Glass.
Siddiqui founded the San Francisco-based startup about a year ago after visiting her sister in medical school.
"I took for granted that Dropbox allowed me to easily share huge files with others. I can access all my files from any device - my laptop, phone, or tablet. But when critically ill patients were being transferred to our hospital, we couldn't see all their files: Their imaging, their health record, their allergies," she says.
The sisters plan to pilot Remedy in three new hospital sites over the next quarter.