Google Glass Has Range of Applications in Plastic Surgery: Researchers

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Google Glass Has Range of Applications in Plastic Surgery: Researchers

The world's first plastic surgery procedure performed using Google Glass has shown promising use of the eye-wearable device in plastic surgery.

Google Glass has a wide range of possible applications in plastic surgery - with the potential to enhance surgical training, medical documentation and patient safety, researchers report.

"Google Glass is an exciting technology, attracting global interest from multiple industries, professions and individuals," said surgeon Lorne K Rosenfield from the Stanford University.

Rosenfield performed the first plastic surgery procedure with Glass - an eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) performed in combination with a facelift procedure.

This experience illustrated some challenges for future refinement, including the limited resolution of the video camera, technical difficulties in streaming and the need for the surgeon to keep the head in a fixed position.

(Also See: Google Defends 'Licence' to Spend Despite Glass Failings)

In subsequent procedures, Rosenfield fashioned a head-mounted extra-wide LED light to improve clarity for video viewers as well as for the surgeon.

The ability to demonstrate surgical procedures, live or recorded, has obvious applications for training in plastic surgery and other disciplines.

According to Rosenfield, the recordings also have unique value for self-evaluation by the surgeon.

In the future, Google Glass technology can enable surgeons to receive remote consultations and even "virtual assistance" during actual procedures.

Introduced on a limited basis in 2013, Glass is a hands-free, computerised eyewear that can present information to the wearer and enable recording and sharing of video.

Glass may also be useful in providing rapid access to medical documentation - for example, doctors could call up and view necessary medical records, imaging studies, or checklists.

This might even reduce the spread of infection from handling pens and paper, computers and other sources.

Although Glass is not currently available to the public, the technology is still being developed in several markets, including healthcare.

The article by Rosenfield and co-author Christopher R Davis, MD, appeared in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

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