- Medical Express Ambulance Service (MedEx), based in Skokie, Illinois, is set to begin a pilot program utilizing Google Glass to allow physicians to look at what paramedics are seeing first-hand.
- The MedEx program will initially work with the Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, with the goal of expanding over time to work with additional hospitals. It will utilize software developed by Pristine.
- The program reportedly took MedEx two and half years of negotiation with Google and the Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as $250,000 to develop the service and the addition of 10 new critical-care ambulances that include Wi-Fi hotspots to facilitate video transmission to hospitals.
What's of particular interest here is not just the potential for Google Glass to impact patient care, but of how exactly MedEx is managing this program.
CEO Lauren Rubinson-Morris told Crain's Chicago Business the program is believed to be the "first HIPAA-compliant ambulance-video program in the nation."
In addition, Rubinson-Morris says the company won't charge hospitals or patients extra for the service. She's hoping the high-tech program will lead to an expansion of business with "hospitals that are looking at telemedicine and the future and want to be part of the cutting edge of things."
The bigger question is whether Google Glass will continue to be considered cutting edge, or whether its future is limited following Google's recent halt to its Explorer beta test—although the company will continue to sell the technology to enterprise customers. Some IT experts have suggested that the product might be short-lived, but this is continuing evidence that health systems are trying to figure out how Google Glass fits into their workflow.