A post-doctoral student at the University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO) based in Sierre, Valais, Switzerland has developed a new app for use with Google Glass which will aid paramedics by allowing them to interact directly with specialists at the hospital. This will save the paramedics immeasurable time in helping patients at the scene.
Antoine Widmer of HES-S0, who developed the app, says that it will immensely improve both the speed and the quality of treatment of patients in emergency scenarios, by allowing the paramedic to liaise directly with the appropriate specialist at the hospital, thereby both speeding up the process and hopefully saving more lives.
Using Google Glass functions, specialists at the hospital will have the ability to see directly what the current situation is with the patient and in real time, assist and guide the paramedic in his or her work, by suggesting the correct initial emergency treatment, before the ambulance arrives at the hospital.
The specialist doctor can then monitor the situation, talk directly to the paramedic using a Bluetooth headset, while the app also provides instant and vital information about the patient, including cardiac rhythms, blood pressure, temperature and other vital medical statistics, as well as any allergies the patient might be subject to.
In the event of large scale accidents, involving multiple patients, video transmissions will prepare the doctors for the required intervention at the hospital and to prepare any necessary operation rooms which might be needed.
Speaking to the Swiss media, Olivier Verdu, a paramedic from Valais in Switzerland said that he welcomed news of the Google Glass app saying it would aid immeasurably in sending the necessary statistics through to the hospital, which they have, up until now, being doing via email. He also said that the app would save necessary and vital time, by allowing them to be in contact with the patient at all times.
While saying it could be a vital tool, Verdu did show some reservations, saying the app might possibly distract the paramedics to an extent, as they would be watching the screen at the corner of the glasses, thus taking their attention away briefly from the patient. However, on the whole Verdu thought that the app, developed for Google Glass in Switzerland, will aid paramedics in their work.
When asked about any possibly issues relating to confidentiality, Widmer reassured the media by saying that the new app would transmit the personal details of the patient in an encrypted format, securely and without any intervention of a server, stressing that Google would never have access to this private information.
With Google Glass on the books to be launched on a commercial basis in Europe in 2015, Widmer says that the app will be available for sale to the medical world at that time.
The use of the app is outlined in a demonstration video which is included below, showing the interaction between paramedic and specialists, giving him aid using Google Glass in conjunction with the new app developed in Switzerland.
By Anne Sewell
Photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Antonio Zugaldia