Paul Porter

The Feasibility and Acceptability of Google Glass in
Emergency Department Consultations:
Better and Worse than the Hype
Member of Board of BCBS State of RI
Collaborating Physician CVS Minute Clinic
LTC United States Army
Devices have not sought FDA approval as devices expect
where noted
Lecture Outline
Perspective on Digital Health
Digital Health at Brown
Feasibility and Acceptability of Google Glass
Limitations and Conclusions
An Academic Perspective on
Digital Health
• To drive adoption in Digital Health from within academic medicine in order to
insure patient safety and remain relevant
• To use digital and wearable technology to improve care, communication, and
convenience of patients, staff and physicians
• To test technologies such as Google Glass in a safe manner but at a very rapid
Brown Emergency
Medicine’s Scope
Rhode Island Hospital, The Miriam Hospital,, Newport
Hospital Hasbro Children’s
We Provide care for over
250,000 patients annually at
the Rhode Island Hospital,
Hasbro Children’s, The
Miriam Hospital and Newport
Hospital… in a state of 1
million people
Our Personnel
• 75 leading Academic Adult
Emergency Medicine
Specialists and 20 Pediatric
Emergency Medicine
• 60 Residents and Fellows
Knowledge Dissemination Has
Encyclopedia Britannica
Image from
IPhone $49.00
Care Dessimination is Changing
Medical Cart
Approximate Cost
Google Glass
Implementation 7 weeks
Budget under $10,000
We sought to democratized
LGP: 4 guys
Our Study
• To assess the feasibility and acceptability of Google Glass
for emergency department consultations
• Prospective cohort study of a convenience sample of
consentable adults presenting to the Rhode Island Hospital
Emergency department (ED) from March to June of 2014
with a rash that need to have dermatology consult
Intervention & Outcome
• Intervention:
• A real-time dermatology consultation with a modified
HIPPA compliant Google Glass in addition to the standard
Ed/Derm consultation (phone call +/- photo)
• Outcomes
• Feasibility the % of successful consults
• Acceptability, measured patient responses to a survey
Feasibility Not a Problem
Glass Consults % Completed
Techical Difficulties
Completed Consults
Results: Willing and Satisfied
• 34 patients were enrolled in the study (87% of those
• 28 out of 31 (93.5%) patients were satisfied with
their Glass teledermatology consultation experience
• Almost all had confidence in the video equipment
and device used (n=30, 96.8%) and would
recommend its use to other patients (n=28, 93.3%)
Results: Privacy Not a
• 30 out of 31 (96.8%) patients felt that their privacy
was protected while using the modified HIPAAcompliant version of Glass used in this study
Results: Seeing the Future but
Missing the Past
• The majority of patients (n=23, 74.2%) preferred
Glass consultation to the standard telephone
dermatologic consultation provided in the ED
• The minority (n=7, 22.6%), however, preferred the
Glass consultation to a face-to-face visit with the
• Constraints: being generalizable to other institutions
• Variability in hospital IT infrastructures and band width
• Motivations, patients and tech sophistication of users
• Device is a beta device with issues of general
bugginess, battery life and ease of connectivity
Study Conclusions
• Glass is a feasible and acceptable for emergency
department consultations
• Patients have surprisingly few concerns about
• Glass preferred to standard ED dermatology
consultations but not a face to face visits

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