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article imageSwiss doctor creates Google Glass app for paramedics (Video)

By Anne Sewell     Sep 18, 2014 in Health
Sierre - An app has been developed at the University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO) in Sierre, Switzerland, which is aimed at saving precious minutes by enabling specialist doctors at hospitals to interact live with paramedics working on patients at the scene.
With the hope of using Google Glass to improve the speed and quality of treatment in an emergency situation, post-doctoral student Antoine Widmer at HES-SO, has developed an app which will allow paramedics on the scene of a medical emergency to interact with the appropriate specialist at the hospital, hopefully saving more lives in the process.
With the help of the functions of Google Glass, doctors at the hospital will be able to directly see and hear what the situation is with the patient, allowing them to assist and guide the paramedic with the correct initial treatment while en route to the hospital.
While monitoring the situation, the specialist can speak directly to the paramedic through a Bluetooth headset, and the app will also instantly provide vital information such as temperature, ECG channel, cardiac rhythm, saturation and blood pressure, as well as any allergies the patient may have, directly to doctors before the patient even arrives.
In the case of large accidents, the video transmission will allow physicians to prepare the necessary intervention at the hospital and get operation rooms ready if required.
Widmer told the Swiss media that due to the integrated camera in the glasses, a specialist could see in real time what is happening at the scene and better guide the paramedic in his work.
Olivier Verdu, a paramedic in Valais, Switzerland welcomes the news of the app, saying that paramedics normally send the vital statistics through to the hospital by email. He said that the glasses would help them save vital time, allowing them to stay in constant contact with the patient. He did, however, say that they would have to see if in practice the app might get in the way as while they are watching a screen in the corner of the glasses, this takes their eyes away from the patient.
Speaking of any possible confidentiality issues, Widmer stressed that the app would securely transmit a patient’s personal details through Google Glass, saying that the details will be encrypted and sent directly from the ambulance to the hospital without the intervention of a server, so Google will not have access to the information.
Google Glass is planned to be launched commercially in Europe during 2015 and it is hoped that the new app will be available for sale by that time. The video above gives a demonstration of the use of the app in conjunction with Google Glass.
A full-text version of the conference paper "Using Google Glass to enhance pre-hospital care" can be seen here.
More about google glass, Switzerland, Paramedics
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