Google Glass is helping doctors with dermatology research

Posted Mar 15, 2014

Doctors at the Rhode Island Hospital are testing the use of Google Glass in teledermatology where skin images are captured by the gadget and transmitted in real time to an off-site dermatologist.

Over the next 6 months, emergency room patients requiring dermatology work can participate in the study. Doctors that examine the patients will be using a “stripped-down version” of Google Glass to send images to an off-site dermatologist, who will look at the images through a tablet.

The Rhode Island Hospital will be working with Pristine, a Glass-focused startup for the pilot. Pristine’s version of Google Glass does not include some of its core functionality, nor is the device connected to the Internet. It streams live and sends encrypted audio/video information to the receiver directly. The photos, video, and audio aren’t stored in the Pristine version of Google Glass.

“It’s every CIO’s worst nightmare to have a breach or have video uploaded on YouTube,” stated Dr. Paul Porter, the principal investigator on the study in an interview with MobiHealthNews. “We really put a lot of time in trying to get the best possible conditions for confidentiality, picking a specialty that we thought would be the safest for the patients. In our study, [the Google Glass consultation is] over and above the standard of care, which is a phone call plus or minus a snapshot.”

The testing started on March 1st. As soon as the study has 100 participants, Porter and his team will start working on a paper.