Brian Ahier

Brian Ahier is a City Councilor in The Dalles, Oregon. He works as Health IT Evangelist for Information Systems at Mid-Columbia Medical Center. He also serves on the board of Mid-Columbia Council of Government and Q-Life. He is passionate about healthcare reform, government 2.0 and health IT. He writes regularly at his blog and updates frequently on Twitter.

Disrupting health care with Google Glass

The convergence of hardware and software, and innovation in wearable technology, provides opportunities for disruption.

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared on Advanced Health Information Exchange Resources; this lightly edited version is published here with permission.

I joined the¬†Glass Explorer Program¬†and have started using Google Glass with a focus on finding medical uses for this type of wearable computing technology. While I believe¬†it’s the analytics capabilities¬†that will allow us to realize the value of health information technology, the convergence of hardware and software ‚ÄĒ combined with an explosion of wearable sensor technology ‚ÄĒ is providing powerful opportunities for some disruptive innovation in the health care marketplace and the practice of medicine.

Charles Webster, M.D., got me really interested in the potential with his presentation Google Glass and Healthcare Information and Workflow at the 2014 Healthcare Systems Process Improvement Conference, held immediately before HIMSS 2014. Chuck has been posting about Google Glass for some time, and one of his posts on the HIMSS Future Care blog is well worth reading. Some of the insights from his post include:

“There’s lots of interest in Glass use by surgeons, EMTs, and nurses, for hands-free and real-time access to critical information. It’s justified. But there’s also been negative speculation about threats to patient privacy. What will patients think when they see their physician wearing Glass? In my opinion, it will become just another tool they associate with health care workers (less obtrusive than the head mirror that used to be a symbol of the medical profession). The bigger question should be, what will physicians and others think when they see a patient wearing Glass?”

I decided it was finally time to take the plunge and become a Glass Explorer and got my Google Glass just in time for the annual HIMSS conference to end. For those who have not yet seen Google Glass or don’t understand how the technology works, it is basically a computer strapped to your head in the form of a pair of glasses. It has a heads-up display, voice activation and a growing number of apps. Check out the¬†Google Glass¬†homepage to learn more. When you think about having all of the technology of a smartphone, and then some, incorporated into a pair of glasses, it boggles the mind as to the various use cases for health care. I want to outline just a few and then think about what other innovative possibilities this type of technology could bring to the industry. Read more…