Advances in Healthcare

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Dr. Mitchell wearing Google GlassDr. Ken Mitchell thinks his new Google Glass really looks cool. But moreover, he believes this cutting-edge technology will ultimately improve patient care.

Maybe you’ve seen somebody wearing Google Glass, the lightweight spectacles that allow the wearer to search and scan the web as it appears in the upper right-hand corner of the glasses. It’s sort of like the “heads-up display” used by fighter pilots that’s now being introduced in new cars to show speed and other information on the windshield in front of the driver.

But how would you feel about your physician wearing a pair during your routine visit, or during surgery?

“We think this will actually improve our interaction with patients,” said Dr. Mitchell, a surgeon and medical director of Roper St. Francis Bariatric and Metabolic Services, who applied and waited four months to receive his glasses through the Google Explorer Program. “This is a wearable-type computer that is programmed to appear as if you’re looking at a 25-inch television from eight feet away.”

To operate the glasses, Dr. Mitchell simply touches the right side with a tap or a slide of his finger and it reacts just like a computer. It even responds to voice commands, a tilting of your head and can take pictures with the wink of an eye.

There is little doubt that doctors of all disciplines will soon find Google Glass very helpful as they learn to use them in their daily practice. And, likewise, patients will quickly become accustomed to their physicians wearing the glasses rather than staring into a laptop during their visit.

If you need further proof that this is the future, consider that the University of California-Irvine Medical School just gave all their medical students a pair of these glasses as part of their educational experience.

And, hey, if you don’t believe me, just Google it.

By Ken Burger, former Post and Courier sports columnist and local author. Reach Ken at

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