What was the competition?
The MedTech Boston Google Glass Challenge was a competition hosted at Google in Cambridge, MA, this past week. The essence of the competition was to pitch ideas of how to use Glass in healthcare and medicine. Over 50 individuals submitted ideas that were reviewed, and then 13 were selected for their live pitches. Many individuals proposed how Glass could be used by clinicians in their workflow. This included the creation of ways to replace pagers with Glass, improving surgical procedures, improving documentation, and emergency situations where Glass could be helpful, along with more.
Bringing the Human Element to Glass
My idea focused on bringing Glass into the patients home, through VNA services. With an aging population and a focus on home healthcare, I proposed that Glass could be a great tool for healthcare members that go into a patients home. This includes nurses, therapists, social workers, and others. These individuals could document their visits, using both images and videos captured first hand, that could then be uploaded into the EHR for clinicians to review as needed.
This could include such documentation of a patients wound and how it is doing upon follow-up. Therapists could document how patients range of motion or ambulation is improving post-discharge from a surgical intervention. My personal interest would be using Glass for medication reconciliation.
But in the end, I see Glass as an adjunctive tool in medicine in regards to home healthcare. The patient becomes the focus, as Glass allows the patient to share their experiences and how they are doing in their home, which is often lacking when they come to the clinic.
Glass could be useful in translational services, where the translator can see the patient during translation and see their body language as well. The other huge impact of Glass in the home, is it expands telemedicine services. The patient can be reviewed in the home and a provider can see the patient, without the logistical barriers of bringing the patient in the office. Other aspects include the family, who are often at the patients home, who can also contribute questions and inquiries. In the end, that leaves the patient in the comfort of their home and allows them to be accessed, and if urgent enough, then brought into the clinic for closer inspection.
Thoughts on Winning
In the end, I was one of the five winners selected based on my pitch. The judges awarded me the GameChanger Award. Personally, I greatly appreciate the award and that I was selected. Even greater for me, I am greatly pleased to be a winner amongst the other competitors, who were all MDs, except for one individual coming from a business background. I hope that by winning I can bring greater attention to the fact that new technology can be used beyond just physicians, and offers ways to improve the practice across all healthcare professionals. I hope other pharmacists will look into how we can use these new technologies to improve our practice, which has overall been lagging behind. In addition, I look forward to creating other ideas and being able to share them in the future and participate in more competitions.