Glassters Streamer App Enables Telemedicine Using Google Glass

July 10, 2013 – 12:40 am

A Spanish doctor has challenged the claim that the first live-streaming of a surgery with Google Glass took place in the United States. In an open letter to Dr Grossman, who recently live-streamed a surgery to a Google Hangout, Dr Pedro Guillén Garcia at Clinica CEMTRO in Madrid, states that he web streamed a procedure using Google Glass before Grossman, but “we didn’t consider that to be an exceptional achievement since it was no more than recording and sending images to our streaming server…”

The real advance, Guillén says, is the ability to live stream a surgery to an open audience that is able to communicate with the surgeon, a feat that Guillén accomplished a few days later using a Google Glass app from Spanish software company Droiders.

Medtechinsider spoke to Dr Guillén and Clinica CEMTRO’s Communications Coordinator Iñigo Espert Rodriguez about the chondrocyte implant surgery that was streamed using Google Glass. The surgery was streamed open and live, in contrast to the surgery Dr Grossman described in his blog, (and which medtechinsider covered here) which was streamed to a limited audience on Google Hangout, says Rodriguez. Because of the use of Droiders’ Glassters Streamer, a platform that enables the ability to broadcast video directly through Google Glass, it was also possible to communicate with a team of doctors 5800 miles away during the surgery.

While there are other ways to communicate with remote teams, the difference of using Google Glass is that the audience sees the operation through the doctor’s eyes, says Rodriguez, making it especially suitable for telemedicine and education.

“One of the most promising fields is in learning. Hundreds of students can watch the surgery and communicate. With this device you see an image from the doctor’s eyes. You see what he is seeing,” says Rodriguez.

“We had used Google Glass in other patients before the experiment,” says Guillén. “I liked the experience. I think it’s very interesting, this technique.”

But the potential applications for Google Glass in healthcare go far beyond telemedicine, teaching and as a resource of information (for example, a doctor could use the device to look up information during surgery). Google Glass also could be used to enhance existing medical devices. One of the first companies incorporating Google Glass into its devices is EPGL Medical Sciences, which is using the device as a display to deliver information from its Muscle Pain Detection Device to the doctor. Guillén is working on a similar application for arthroscopy. A few years ago, he patented the Wireless Arthoscophy Device (WAD), which enables arthroscopy without power supplies and is less expensive than traditional arthroscopy. Google Glass can replace the need for a screen (a computer or an arthroscopic tower) to transmit the image to, further minimising the equipment needed.

“It’s an excellent technique for arthroscopy. I like to work with Google Glass,” says Guillén.

Guillén and Droiders are planning to work together to further develop the device for use with Google glass, says Rodriguez.

“Droiders and Dr Guillén are going to collaborate closely in the future,” says Rodriguez.

The YouTube video below shows the surgery at Clinica CEMTRO that was streamed using Google Glass.

By: Camilla Andersson

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  1. 3 Responses to “Glassters Streamer App Enables Telemedicine Using Google Glass”

  2. This is the open answer that I respectfully gave to Dr. Guillen’s letter.Please publish as well. Thanks.

    Dr. Guillén. Aplaudo su logro con pasión desde aquí en los EEUU. De verdad los felicito.
    Como ya lo he escrito antes en varios espacios, , no se trata de una carrera, sino de divulgar el potencial de una tecnología como esta que tiene un alcance formidable en muchas áreas, incluyendo la nuestra.

    Soy un “Glass Explorer” y como tal vez lo sabrá, desde el comienzo de este año he escrito y hablado en múltiples instancias sobre mi pasión e interés por GoogleGlass aplicado a medicina y a la educación médica.
    Tal vez sabrá, espero que así sea, que Julián Beltrán y yo llevábamos tiempo también hablando y planeando aplicaciones. De hecho, yo puse a Julián e contacto con un buen amigo de Stanford, el Dr. Homero Rivas quien entiendo también fué parte de su experiencia. Me hubiera gustado a mi también ser parte de ella, seguramente hubiera podido aprender yo mucho y tal vez aportar algo.
    De cualquier modo, como le dije antes, para mi no es una competencia sino de difundir las buenas nuevas y aportar al mundo visión de las posibilidades.
    Que la prensa y la medios peleen entre ellos y decidan si ellos quieren.
    Por mi parte yo sigo trabajando ( sólo por aquí y con apoyo de nadie desgraciadamente!) y deseoso que en un futuro cercano podamos tal vez unir esfuerzos.
    Un cordial saludo.
    Rafael José Grossmann Zamora, MD, FACS
    Venezolano en los EEUU.

    By Rafael on Jul 10, 2013

  3. I hope my response quiets the unrest that I notice about this accomplishment.
    It is public and notorious, that I , a Glass Explorer surgeon, while using GoogleGlass and streaming live intra-operative content thru it, performed the first social media documented procedure on June 20th, 2013. A day later, a team in Spain performed a similar feat.
    The details and set up of the two procedures really do not matter. To me, the timing do not matter either; but the facts stand by themselves, as published, for the media and the public to juggle with them.
    I’m just a surgeon, passionate about the intersection of innovation, technology and healthcare to better medicine.

    By Rafael on Jul 10, 2013

  4. Dear Dr. Grossman,

    Thank you for your comment. Medtechinsider previously covered your surgery using Google Glass. You can find the blog post here:

    By camilla on Jul 10, 2013

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