Google Glass Has Now Been Used During Surgery

By: Chris Crum - June 21, 2013

Here’s one of the many firsts we’ll no doubt be hearing about regarding Google Glass as more and more people get their hands on the device. A doctor, Rafael Grossmann, MD, FACS, used Google Glass to record a procedure in which he inserted a feeding tube into a patient. This was streamed via Hangout.

Dr. Grossman, who is in Google’s Glass Explorer program, blogged about the experience, saying, “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.”

“The patient involved needed a feeding tube (Gastrostomy) and we chose to placed it endoscopically, with a procedure called PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy,” he writes. “You can Google that to learn more…). Being the first time, I wanted to do this during a simple and commonly performed procedure, to make sure that my full attention was not diverted from taking excellent care of the patient.”

Before the actual procedure, Grossman recorded himself explaining the event, and talked about the importance of not revealing any of the patient’s health information. He stresses that privacy was taken into a great deal of consideration, and he obtained informed consent, and made sure no recording or transmission of any identifying information took place.

“I had Google Glass on at all times, with the HO active thru-out the procedure,” he writes. “The live video images that I saw thru Glass, were projected in the iPad screen, remotely. We kept the volume down on purpose. We tried to keep it very simple (the KISS principle!) and straight forward. As I said, even the procedure was a simple one.”

The iPad, he says, was just yards away, but could have been anywhere.

[via Forbes]
Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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    No one wearing these things will be allowed in my home or business. My business is already posted with “No Google Glass on These premises”.

    • Csewell

      Freak! What kinda business do you own?


        My “business” as well as my name is for METOKNOWONLY Mr. Google fanboy.

        • Chris

          What kind of business can survive with no customers? I mean, if the name of your business is for YOUTOKNOWONLY, then how would anyone ever find out about it?

          It’s hilarious seeing the idiots claiming they’re banning this from their businesses without ever having dealt with them. Enjoy going out of business when no one knows or cares about what you do because they don’t bother looking up places where the device they’re using to look you up is banned.

          • bumpkin

            Maybe s/he’s a PI!?

    • TimBob

      You have every right to do so.
      Do you also prohibit video cameras, still cameras and smartphones? If not you are missing the point as Google Glass is no more invasive to your and your company’s privacy.

  • Mike

    I think Google Glass is terrific. I can’t wait to buy a pair. Once everyone has them, paranoid fears will evaporate and we’ll wonder how we ever got along without them. There is a certain (Luddite) segment of the population that reflexively hates new technology. Personally I think envy and jealousy motivate these haters. Ten years from now, their unfounded fears will be forgotten.

    • Bob

      If you recorded me, I would stomp your ass.

      • matt h

        I suspect he would then sue you for assault and battery; possibly eve destruction of property. I will be laughing at you.

    • Oracle

      I know women who don’t shave their legs and men who do.
      The only normal is abnormal!

    • Mark

      My fears will never evaporate until folks like you quit looking at entire sections of humanity as luddites.

    • Freeland_Dave

      Fine. Do that. But don’t come into my privately owned and privately operated business on privately owned property wearing them or you will 1. POLITELY asked to remove them or leave the premise. 2. If you fail to RESPONSIBLY follow that POLITE request you will then be arrested. 3. If you then respond violently and pose a threat to me, my employees or my other customers, then you will be shot and killed for their safety as I don’t fire warning shots that might hit innocent people and I don’t shout, “Stop or I’ll shoot” to give you the opportunity to turn and shoot me.

      Now, if you understand that the rest of us on the planet have some rights and you don’t have the right to violate them because technology allows you to easily do so or you feel that societies laws and rules somehow don’t apply to you, you won’t have a problem. But if you have this erroneous notion that your constitutional rights allows you to do things it patently does not allow you to do in every circumstance, you bring what ever happens to you on yourself.

      You have the right to choose. Your freedoms end when they start to impinge on the freedoms of others. That is really what freedom is all about. Use it responsibly.

      • Chris

        Wow, good call tough guy. You say you’ll shoot someone after they’re in police custody? Why not step up right now and let everyone know the name and location of your ‘privately owned and privately operated business on privately owned property’?

        It might be help drum up business from like-minded internet tough guys who don’t realize how ridiculous they seem when talking about shooting someone after getting them arrested.

        Think the police will just let it slide that the tough guy felt threatened enough to shoot because of someone wearing these?

        Now, in case you’re NOT some 12 year old internet tough guy like Bob up there, then I hope your ‘privately owned and privately operated business on privately owned property’ fails because it can’t adapt to technology, AND from having an idiot in charge who thinks being an internet tough guy gets results in swaying opinions online.

  • Javier

    Excellent application for the device. Saving lives.
    Unfortunately GLASS can be used for nefarious uses as well.

    Just as with any techno gadget, use with caution.

  • Bal

    Google Glass is a tool. Like any tool, it has a range of usefulness. Seems like professional settings could be one of them. Watching me as I eat dinner in a restaurant is NOT one of them – not unless you are paying me to entertain you and your audience. If you are doing that, let’s negotiate my rates, which I think you will find quite high, but fair.

    • czehfus

      Professional settings, my foot. Any doctor or other type of professional using Glass will not get my business. Not only is privacy a risk but distraction of the person wearing it due to multi-purpose of information/fun, and dulling the user’s reflexes due to wireless interference with brain activity.
      In fact, cell phone radiation interferes with normal moral judgment center of the brain in one MIT study. Just an idea.

  • Bob

    If you recorded me, I would stomp you into the ground.

    • TimBob

      If you’re walking down the street I will record or photograph you all I want. You try to stomp me into the ground, you will find yourself in jail for assault.

  • Keith Mattox

    I would assume this doctor got the patients approval in advance of the procedure. Otherwise, he and the hospital are screwed.

    • Tim

      It says in the article that he received the patient’s informed consent. No doubt he also got written and oral permission. But if he didn’t…

      • Freeland_Dave

        This falls into the category of “IF a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his rump when he hopped across the ground.

  • Don

    Google is turning the people of this country into spies. Communist China and Nazi Germany would be proud.

    • andro

      Exactly. Don’t forget the Stasi – most recent example.

  • czehfus

    Let’s expose patients to more wireless radiofrequency and microwave radiation when they are most vulnerable. Nice.
    RF/MW have bioeffects at levels far below heating. One would think prudence in these exposures would be desirable since the U.S. has no safety standards based on biology.

    Medical professionals celebrate bioeffects of RF in focused, controlled uses for medical procedures and tests, such as described in “BioEM2013: therapeutic applications prove​ the ​existence of non​-thermal effects” blog. The continued denial of potential harm to patients from increasing hospital and operating room wireless radiation is routine.

    RF bioeffects shown in reputable modern studies include an interference with cellular functions, including repair of dna, and unnatural opening of the protective blood brain barrier by a brief exposure of cell phone type radiation. What would a doctor choose, the patient’s best chances of healing or fun and convenience of additional gadgets?

    • Jon

      I highly doubt this patient was in any danger. Lifespans have increased as technological progress in humanity as increased. Prior to technological revolutions, someone who was 40 years of age would be an old man. Now someone who dies at 55 is considered as having died a young death. I have friends in their 60s who are in better shape than I am, and I’m in my 30s. Does technology have some small, inherent risk? Sure. So does everything else. But overall, humanity continues to improve despite the nay-sayers. You seem to be great at using adjectives, but you lack judgement and understanding.

    • Vexille Voxhalyn

      Excuse me sir; I believe you dropped your tinfoil hat a few steps back.

    • Freeland_Dave

      If you really feel that way about it might I suggest you turn off all the electricity, and most importantly your computer because you are continually bombarding yourself with electromagnetic, read radio waves or RF, emitting from your computer, cell phones, wireless phones, WiFi and the house’s electrical wiring. We certainly don’t want intellectually sound folks like yourselves damaging yourselves while you sleep in bed at night.

      You also might want to refrain from riding any motorized transportation as well as the spark plugs, internal automobile wiring, alternators and generators all emit their own form of RF which might be damaging. And, God forbid, you might get hit by a policeman’s radar gun beam, wouldn’t that be horrible?

      And come to think of it. Don’t shop for any food in any grocery stores that use electricity in any manner especially those with radar operated automatic door openers.

      Let me ask, how far do you want to bury your head shaking in fear while 98% of you is still above ground and exposed to the totally irrational things you are worried about and yet is a daily, almost continuous thing in your life?

      • Dr. D

        Listen to F.Dave. He is on the mark

  • JohnGaltar

    Great! A Medical Malpractice Tort lawyers dream!!!!!!

    • Jamie

      No joke. Most people are thinking about the glasses in terms of being a patient, but the long term implications of patients recording health professions are equally damning.

  • John Gleason

    This sounds like a great tool for teaching surgeons. Also, it could be used by car mechanics to film procedures and show the video to trainees. There will be many similar uses.

  • TimBob

    I can see some real benefits for this in the medical field, especially from a training aspect. A whole room full of surgical residents can see exactly what the chief surgeon sees.

  • Mike

    How stupid can you get? Obviously a surgeon should be wearing X-ray specs.

    • Paul Miller

      Yeah, X-ray specs and a Superman outfit.

  • Freeland_Dave

    Now this is a valid reason for using this technology, not wearing one out in public to violate people’s privacy on the street and record/playback video of them doing something dumb so that they can be later humiliated for entertainment purposes.

    • TimBob

      In the United States you have no legal rights to privacy when you are on the street. There’s a reason it’s called a “public” street or sidewalk.

    • Rick

      If you are in public, doing something ‘dumb’, why shouldn’t you be recorded and later humiliated? You don’t think I wouldn’t/couldn’t do that with my cellphone anyways? lol

  • GH

    …….eventually glass will be required as part of malpractice insurance policies

  • Jamie

    Wonder how using them in the healthcare setting will actually hold up in regards to infection control…?
    It’s not like you can autoclave those things….

    • Garett

      Actually You can sterilize them using a Gas autoclave, not steam. I do it all the time for electronics and drills.

      • Jamie

        Well, there’s my answer then, and I don’t doubt that its likely manageable in an OR unit setting. On a typical medical unit, it would likely be another story.

  • Kari Ju

    At last! The future is NOW! Video comes to education. Really sad that we had to wait into the 21st Century for individuals to be able to afford this so-called “video camera” technology. Think of the benefits of actually seeing moving images rather than imagining them from descriptions in antiquated paper texts or boring, scratchy vinyl records! Thanks, google! Of course, I’m still waiting for the endlessly promised, small, hand-held device no bigger than a deck of cards that could do simple arithmetic calculations for balancing checking accounts and the like.

  • Ron Mexico

    Another stupid fad like Segway. Something people don’t need that only makes their lives more complicated and burdensome.

  • Patricia

    Oh wonderful, another electronic thing for me, a nurse, to have to mess with in surgery. In the past week I have had to field transmissions from doctors’ smart phones that included info on the sender’s boyfriend, her b’day presents, lawn watering instructions, stock market notifications, and pet/kid pics. All this while people were being operated on, and important messages needed to be answered.

    • Ed

      Patricia, I am a surgeon and make people check my phone during surgery. You’re right. But it’s funny to hear someone say that. I will try to do less of it

  • Markkittoe

    I’m going to demand that my surgeon wear this for my appendectomy so that I can get the opinions of 100 different doctors, who are not in the room, or present for the procedure, to give me their advice on how it went… “Oh? I would not have done it THAT way…” Let the lawsuits begin… Anyone know a good lawyer? I’m not going to work another day in my life… Yahoo$$$!

  • Glaw

    Yep, Now the doc can look up Web MD without you knowing it!

  • Gunderson

    There is such a thing as TOO MUCH. We’ve reached, and passed, the saturation point for what is healthy for people and society as individuals and as a whole. Too many distractions, sensory overload, increased stress, loss of privacy, addictions, public nuisances, etc.

  • Gunderson

    Cancer is epidemic. People can joke about all the wireless tranmissions that our bodies (cells) continually absorb on a daily basis that were non-existent 30 years ago. It’s more than a tad naive in my opinion to think that all of these transmissions can endlessly pass through our cells and not have any adverse effects. Something is responsible for the vast increase in cancer cases. Is it the air that we breathe? The water that we drink? The foods that we eat?

    I have no doubt that they all play a part — especially when talking about food additives to improve growth acceleration, color, shelf-life (preservatives) and taste. Not to mention genetically-altered foods that cover the gamut from milk to meat.

    However, my gut tells me that if I could SEE all of the energy waves and transmission signals eminating from microwave ovens, cordless phones, wi-fi, cell phones, bluetooths, wireless headphones, atomic clocks/watches, car remotes, TV remotes, stereo system remotes, wireless alarm systems (homes, business & autos), wireless monitoring systems/cameras, GPS, wireless home weather/temp stations, satellite phones, satellite/dish TV, Kindles, iPods, and many other devices I can’t think of at this moment, but that other readers might be kind enough to expand on my partial list…….yes, if I could see all of these electronic needles traveling through my body every second of every day, I just might take them a bit more seriously and wonder just how much a single body and its’ millions of cells can endure before those cells begin to weaken and possibly mutate as a direct result of all the sequences of sudden warming caused by the friction of exposure to high speed data never intended for a cell, followed by cooling, then warming, then cooling — cells in a constant state of flux — expanding and contracting ad infinitum.

    Food for thought from a lay person who has no vested interest in denial, cover-up, deception, distortion, mis-direction, slight of mouth, taking the Fifth (see tobacco industry congressional hearings circa 1994).

    • Suresh

      Well said. God gave a healthy body with a overly creative mind and this is what we have done to that body. Technology has done great to our comfort but at the cost of our well being. Hope we will learn to live with what we need to have and not with what we must have.

  • Sam Higgins

    I’m sure lawyers will be seething to get their hands on the “Google glasses” video to look for procedural flaws in their clients surgery.
    The Google glasses would be good for police officers and perhaps news reporters. Anyone else is just complicating their life.

  • PhD

    What a great teaching aid for experienced surgeons to show up coming medical students.

  • Sara Gomaz

    That would be nice, What if they can’t concentrate during surgery of a beautiful pregnant lady :)

  • Inigo Espert Rodríguez

    Probably, the first doctor webstreaming a procedure with Google Glass was not Rafael Grossman, but Pedro Guillén, on Juny 21st, who performed a surgery in Madrid that was followed all around the world. On previous days, he had tested the glasses streaming in a close circuit, as Grossmann did afterwards, but didn’t divulgue it untill they performed the open broadcast on the 21st.