Google Glass as a teaching tool - KMSP-TV

Google Glass as a teaching tool

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

How we capture fun, family moments is changing thanks to some oh-so-easy technology like cell phones and tablets.

But now some people are testing Google Glass, exploring how to make it work on the job.

Tampa plastic surgeon Rich Castellano is among them. For five months, he’s been trying out the $1,500 glasses.

"I think the design is great, it's very light weight, you can wear it for long periods of time, it feels very comfortable. They have the new glass frames that you can get, very sophisticated and very fashionable on," he said.

Castellano admits he was excited when he was chosen to receive the glasses.

"It's like a kid at Christmas time. I mean, I love gadgets, I love technology, and I'm just excited about what it can do for my practice, for my patients," he said.

Patients like Carol Dillenger.

"I keep looking in the mirror and I look tired, and I don't feel tired. I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and look as good as I feel," she says.

Carol came to Dr. Castellano's office in search of a physical transformation. But along with her change in appearance, Carol's taking part in something that could change medicine. Her entire surgery will be recorded using Google Glass technology.

"I think it's very exciting. I just think the whole technology, where we've come in my lifetime, is just incredible," she said.

Instead of a clunky camera, the hands-free lens is embedded in the Google Glass frame. The video becomes a teaching tool, allowing observers to "see” procedures through the surgeon’s eyes.

"So this is my perspective, this is what I'm seeing," Castellano says as he beams images of the surgical field to a laptop computer in a room down the hall.

Two-way communication is possible without an earpiece. Instead, sound vibrations are transmitted to the doctor through a bone behind his ear

"I can hear you guys, if you have any questions, you're welcome to ask," Castellano says.

And there's another benefit: in the upper right hand corner of the specs, it’s easy to see a tiny computer screen. While you probably don't want to check email during surgery, doctors can use the screen to check xrays or lab reports.

During facelifts like the ones Dr. Castellano performs, he uses the screen to view "before pictures.” Instead of hanging them on the wall in the operating room, the images appear right before his eyes.

The glasses are still being tested, so they're not fool-proof. Still Dr. Castellano believes the eye-opening technology has one big advantage:

"We tend to do a better job when we feel like we're being watched. And so I like that accountability, that we can have that as a resource for what we're doing. So I think that there's no doubt that it's coming, it's just a matter of when," he says.

Before that happens, there will need to be more security safeguards in place. Right now, Google Glass is not HIPPA compliant, so patients must sign special consent forms regarding privacy before doctors can use them.

For more information:

Dr. Richard Castellano

Google Glass

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