Three Harvard hospitals pilot Google Glass app Remedy

By Aditi Pai
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RemedyOnGlassDeveloper of a Google Glass app for doctors, Remedy, launched a pilot study with three Harvard hospitals in which they will provide physician assistants who are handling night coverage in hospitals -- a time when doctors are not around as often as during the day -- with Google Glass so that they can send their point of view videos to supervising doctors.

From this pilot, Remedy will measure how much the Google Glass system changes the status quo for how healtcare providers manage the workflow of cases. The company also wants to measure patient perception and adoption rates on the surgeon side and the physician's assistant side.

The trial is set to end in just about 30 days.

Remedy Co-Founder Gina Siddiqui decided to develop the app specifically for Google Glass because she thought the point-of-view features of the device would be useful in a field when many healthcare professionals use each other's expertise to get work done.

"When I learned about Google Glass, the idea that someone can literally see through your perspective, exactly what you're seeing, and that they can continue doing their job, with their hands, with their eye contact with the patient, I realized that healthcare is probably the most important place for that technology to be adopted," Siddiqui told MobiHealthNews. "Every technology that's in the hospital was used for something else first. Like banking, or airlines, or consumer interest. And so it's backwards, retrofitted to work for doctors, and I just felt like this is a moment where technology norms haven't been defined yet, and we haven't set in stone how this should be used. And I wanted to do it right in the healthcare setting first."

Remedy is targeting its software at residents, medical students, general practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants. Siddiqui added that using this app on Google Glass will allow generalists to have greater autonomy over their work and more ownership of their case, especially since generalists are the ones who are building a relationship with the patient.

"If you think about it, there are so many appointments, how many appointments do you make with a specialist or a follow up or a transfer?" Siddiqui said. "With a vast majority of those appointments, it's just recapitulating what you said to somebody else. Just getting somebody up to speed with what's already happened."

Siddiqui believes the app will make it effortless for the user to capture information and immediately send it to the person who the user wants to consult with a complete picture of what's happening.

"What we realized is we have to implement a tool that makes it effortless," Siddiqui said. "That makes it like, as soon as they think 'I need to ask somebody for advice about this', the advice has been asked. Wearable devices, Google Glass, the implementation that we used, that's the closest to if they look at something, they can capture it. As soon as they capture it we can route it with our intelligent systems to the right expert who needs to see it and give them real time feedback."

Remedy is partnering with companies that work with hospitals, for example payors and medical device companies. Remedy disabled many of the Google Glass's off-the-shelf features, set up its own secure server, and authenticated log-ins so that the device is secure enough to use in a healthcare setting.