Google Glass startup partners with Dignity Health, raises $4.1M more

By Jonah Comstock
08:52 am
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Augmedix Dignity dataSan Francisco-based Augmedix, one of several startups developing Google Glass software and modifications for hospital use cases, has raised $7.3 million in a round led by DCM and Emergence Capital Partners. This includes the $3.2 million the company announced in March, and $4.1 million in additional new funding. The company also announced two other milestones: it has been named a certified Glass partner by Google, and it has announced a partnership with Dignity Health, the culmination of a pilot that's been under way since January.

Augmedix graduated from Rock Health last year with funding and early data from early doctors beta users. The startup uses Google Glass to reduce the time physicians spend interfacing with EHRs on a computer screen, leading to more face time and eye contact with the patient, according to the company.

The software reduces both data entry and data look-up time. For data entry, Glass records the doctor's initial consultation with the patient, and a combination of computers and human administrators enter that information into the medical record. When the doctor needs to look something up, they can do so with voice commands to Google Glass. The internet connection is disabled for patient privacy reasons, and all data is sent via an isolated, encrypted channel.  

Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the US, announced the results of the pilot it has been running with Augmedix at its Ventura Medical Clinic. The pilot included three physicians and more than 2,700 patient visits, and found that the use of Google Glass reduced the time physicians spent entering data into the EHR from 33 percent of their time to just 9 percent. It also increased time spent with patients from 35 percent to 70 percent. The other finding was that although doctors always asked patients at the start of the visit whether or not they were comfortable being recorded with Glass, less than 1 percent of patients opted out.

“This technology allows me to maintain eye contact with my patients and have continuous conversations without having to enter information into a computer,” Dr. Davin Lundquist, family medicine practitioner and Dignity Health’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer, said in a statement. “The ability to listen, communicate, and care is just as critical as the diagnosis, and this technology allows me to spend more focused and quality time with my patients.”

Google has named five certified Glass partners, and three of them have some connection to healthcare. Besides Augmedix, the list includes Wearable Intelligence, the startup similar to Augmedix that's powering Google Glass at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, whose CIO Dr. John Halamka is one of the biggest advocates for Glass in healthcare.

One more startup, CrowdOptic, mentions the medical industry in its description on Google's page: "CrowdOptic’s software detects significant broadcast events from mobile and wearable devices, and provides breathtaking content for live broadcasts and context-aware applications for the sports, entertainment, building/security, and medical industries."

While it's not an official partner of Google Glass, the EHR developer drchrono has created an app that enables its physician users to access their EHR from Google Glass. According to a report in Reuters, the company developed the app with help from their investor Box and members of the Google Glass team.

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