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Google Glass advantageous in operating room: study

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Google Glass is a unique technology with a promising plastic surgical application in the operating room, according to a new study. Plastic surgeons see some clear advantages of using Google Glass in the operating room, the study found.

“Despite some identified weaknesses, Google Glass is a unique technology with a promising plastic surgical application in the operating room,” said Jeremy C Sinkin of Georgetown University Hospital in the US and colleagues. Introduced in 2013, Glass is a hands-free, head-mounted computerised device that can present information to the wearer and enable recording and sharing of photos and video.

A recently concluded Google testing programme allowed Georgetown plastic surgeons to evaluate Glass for use in the operating room.

After a brief introduction, nine resident and attending plastic surgeons used Glass for various cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures.

These users were surveyed about their experience, including comfort level, ease of use, and the quality of images obtained using Glass.

In general, the surgeons gave Glass high ratings for comfort and overall satisfaction. The ability to capture images and video using voice-activated control was rated “good” – average score about three on a five-point scale.

Scores for the quality of photos and videos averaged nearly four out of five, researchers said. Compared to voice control, the surgeons had more problems capturing pictures or videos using Glass’s “wink” feature.

They also reported difficulties with reviewing images during surgery. One-third of surgeons said they found Glass to be distracting. At times, they had to look away from the surgical field or bend the head and neck into awkward positions in order to take pictures.

“The results provide constructive end-user feedback regarding the introduction of this innovative technology into plastic surgery,” Sinkin said. In a previous paper in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Christopher R Davis and Lorne K Rosenfield of Stanford University described the first plastic surgery procedure performed using Glass.

“Despite its technological infancy, the marriage between Glass and surgeon is a healthy one with great promise,” they said. While Glass is not currently available, it is currently undergoing a “comprehensive redesign,” said Davis and Rosenfield.

“One can expect redesigned frames, more flexible optical hardware, and an updated software platform open to all technology companies,” they added. The study was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

PTI

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