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Google Glass to help patients in remote areas

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Source: Google images
Source: Google images

New York: Google Glass may be used to effectively extend bedside consults to distant healthcare facilities such as community and rural hospitals to diagnose and manage patients, researchers suggest.

“Glass is positioned perfectly as an emergency medicine telemedical device. It is small, hands free and portable, so you can bring it right to the bedside and have a real-time specialist with you when you need one,” said Peter R. Chai from University of Massachusetts medical school.

Traditional telemedicine devices usually consist of large desktop or laptop computers affixed to a big cart that has to be rolled from one exam room to another exam room.

This limits both access and functionality in a busy emergency room setting.

Through the glass, the physicians can stream video of an exam, take and enlarge photos and consult with remote specialists.

In the study, emergency medicine residents at UMass Memorial Medical Centre performed 18 toxicology consults with Google Glass.

Physicians wearing Google Glass evaluated the patients at bedside while a secure video feed was sent to the toxicology supervising consultant. The supervising consultant then guided the resident through text messages displayed on the Glass.

With Google Glass, consulting toxicologists were more confident in diagnosing specific toxidromes.

Additional data collected showed that the use of Google Glass also changed management of patient care in more than half of the cases seen.

Specifically, six of those patients received antidotes they otherwise would not have.

“Placing an expert at the virtual bedside of the patient has huge advantages. It brings a specialist to patients that might not otherwise have access to that kind of expertise,” Chai said.

Because Google Glass is relatively unobtrusive to patients, can be operated hands free and is extremely portable, it has a distinct advantage over traditional telemedicine platforms,” he added.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology.

(IANS)

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Wearable Technology Google Glass Teaches Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Google Glass listens to conversations and prompts the user with an appropriate reply

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Google Glass
Google Glass. IANS

Toronto, Sep 16, 2017: An app to be used with wearable technology such as Google Glass — a head-mounted display in the shape of eyeglasses — can coach children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in everyday social interactions, new research has found.

A defining feature of ASD is difficulties with social communication — which can include initiating and maintaining conversations with others.

“We developed software for a wearable system that helps coach children with autism spectrum disorder in everyday social interactions,” said Azadeh Kushki, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in Canada.

“In this study, we show that children are able to use this new technology and they enjoy interacting with it,” Kushki added.

Children with autism spectrum disorder are often drawn to technological devices and find them highly motivating tools for delivering interventions designed to help them.

Also Read: Technology Takes a Major Leap: Self-Driving Boats May Soon Be Reality Because ‘Humans get Distracted, Humans get Tired’ 

The problem with existing technology, however, is that using human-to-computer interaction to teach social skills can have the opposite effect to its goal, in that the user becomes socially isolated.

“The interesting thing about our new technology is that we are not trying to replace human-to-human interactions; instead, we use this app to coach children who are communicating with people in real-world situations,” Kushki explained.

“Children can practice their skills outside of their normal therapy sessions and it can provide them with increased independence in everyday interactions,” Kushki added.

Kushki and her colleagues developed the app, named Holli, to be used with wearable technology such as Google Glass. It listens to conversations and prompts the user with an appropriate reply.

For example, if the user is greeted by a person who says ‘Welcome’, Holli will provide various responses to choose from, such as ‘Hey’, ‘Hello’ or ‘Afternoon’.

When Holli recognises the user’s response, the prompts disappear and Holli waits for the next exchange in conversation.

To assess the usability of the prototype software, the researchers asked a small group of children with ASD to be guided by Holli when interacting socially.

They saw that Holli could complete most conversations without error, and that children could follow the prompts to carry on a social interaction.

In fact, Holli was often able to understand what the user was saying before/he she finished saying it, which helped the conversation to flow naturally, the study said.

“This study shows the potential of technology-based intervention to help children with ASD,” Kushki said.

“These systems can be used in everyday settings, such as home and school, to reinforce techniques learned in therapeutic settings,” she added. (IANS)

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