- Google Glass startup Wearable Intelligence has raised $8 million in funding. The company develops custom Google Glass software for both the energy and healthcare industries and helps hospitals incorporate the technology safely and securely.
- Wearable Intelligence is best known in the industry for its work with Beth Israel Deaconess' emergency department, where 10 physicians currently share four devices.
- Five other startups are working to help hospitals integrate Google Glass into their clinical workflow. Pristine offers a "stripped-down," HIPAA-compliant version of the device, while Augmedix touts clinical documentation software for physicians. Remedy, Yosko and CrowdOptic also offer healthcare Google Glass products.
Beth Israel has been meticulous with security in its use of Google Glass. The facility uses the devices as a client to display information from the hospital's server, and because it has an in-house EHR, integration was much simpler than it might be for hospitals who contract out their IT.
There are also several steps physicians who wish to access information have to go through: The devices don't work off of the hospital's secure wireless network and physicians who put on the Glass have to scan a personal QR code to access information. Physicians must also scan a second QR code on the wall of a patient's room to access that patient's information. When not in use, the devices are kept locked in a safe.
On his blog, CIO Dr. John Halamka described a scenario in which Google Glass was vital to the delivery of efficient and necessary care:
"I was paged emergently to one of our resuscitation bays to take care of a patient who was having a massive brain bleed," Halamka wrote. "One of the management priorities for brain bleeds is to quickly control blood pressure to slow down progression of the bleed. All he could tell us was that he had severe allergic reactions to blood pressure medications, but couldn’t remember their names, but that it was all in the computer. Unfortunately, this scenario is not unusual. Patients in extremis are often unable to provide information as they normally would. We must often assess and mitigate life threats before having fully reviewed a patient’s previous history. Google Glass enabled me to view this patient’s allergy information and current medication regimen without having to excuse myself to login to a computer, or even lose eye contact."