Digital health: 5 ways smart glasses will revolutionize the healthcare industry
There is no doubt that technology permeates every aspect of society, particularly the healthcare industry. As the tech industry has developed at such a rapid pace, wearables have made their way from the gym into everyday life, but more importantly, the medical field. Smart glasses, an innovative wearable technology, have the potential to change many industries, but none more so than the medical field.
You may wonder how these glasses are being utilized by medical professionals and how they will be employed in the future. Here are five ways this technology has made an impact in just the few short years of its existence:
Increased efficiency. Time is of the essence in the medical field – a split second could be the difference between life and death. Even small tasks, such as pausing to find a patient’s medical history takes away from the time that should be spent interacting with the patient. Smart glasses permit responsible multi-tasking and an increase in efficiency. Doctors will have the information right in front of their eyes (literally) – not having to leave the room to search for data or even look at the computer for a patient’s EHR. The time that was spent on tasks such as these will be put toward patient care.
With an increase in efficiency also comes a decrease in time a patient spends waiting to be seen and treated. Doctors’ offices and hospitals are notorious for having long wait times – doctor’s offices with an average of 19 minutes and hospitals as much as 2 hours. Once visits become more efficient, the wait time will decrease, and doctors will be able to see more patients as a result.
Error reduction. The medical profession is often a stressful one. Doctors and nurses alike are continually being challenged in demanding ways and are responsible for keeping up with constant advancements. Such high stress environments often contribute to error, both big and small. With smart glasses, professionals are able to directly access information in real time that can be useful during a simple checkup or critical during a complicated, lifesaving surgery. With a wealth of information readily available, they are able to double check medical history, ensure proper dosage of medicine, consult other professionals for insight and more.
Heightened patient engagement. Clear communication is key to any doctor-patient engagement. Many believe that medicine has become impersonal because doctors and care providers become busy reviewing, recording and uploading information to computers. In 2015, doctors were reported to spend 43 percent of their day entering electronic records information and only 28 percent face-to-face with patients. With smart glass technology, doctors are able to reduce screen time significantly and interact with patients on a more personal level without disruption.
Education potential. Smart glass technology has the potential to improve medical education across the field. High-level training is necessary for healthcare professionals. With the use of smart glasses, medical students and current professionals have access to livestream procedures, tutorials and seminars, resources to connect with colleagues and more. The technology is deemed to be less intrusive than a video camera and more true to the physician’s perspective.
Detailed documentation. The medical field undoubtedly requires more record-keeping and data entry than most industries, and accuracy is critical. Most of the time, doctors are not able to document every detail of a visit. With the ability to record doctor-patient conversations both audibly and visually, doctor’s no longer need to rely on subjective descriptions patients often give during interactions. Recordings such as these are an extremely reliable source to supplement reports and provide a more thorough record at the end of the day.
Although smart glasses are not a staple in the healthcare industry just yet, there are several different areas in which both professionals and patients reap its benefits. As technology continues to advance and products are developed, both parties should look forward to the endless possibilities this wearable technology has to offer.