The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

New Uses for Emerging Technology: Google Glass Aids Foot Surgeon

Posted by on Thursday, February 20th, 2014

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A U.S. foot surgeon performed the first-ever foot and ankle surgery using Google Glass technology at a three-day medical conference in Jaipur, India. Previously, the new technology was used when Ohio State University broadcast an ACL surgery in August 2013, and the next month an Indian surgeon used Google Glass to stream upper gastrointestinal laparoscopy to medical students seated a few blocks away. Though the product is not officially on the market yet, early tests show benefits for foot surgeons (like Dr. Geldwert!) who are looking to embrace the latest technology in their practices.

foot surgery google glass
Google Glass isn’t available to the general public yet, but test models are being explored for medical applications.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

What Is Google Glass?

At first glance, Google Glass looks like any other pair of spectacles — only these glasses don’t have lenses, and are actually a computer that follows voice commands and snaps photo or video from the user’s vantage point. The revolutionary eyewear feature a small screen that sits in front of the user’s right eye. Users can ask the computer a question and retrieve an answer within seconds. The device is also Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible. It comes with a speaker, microphone, camera, projector, and scroll button. It wasn’t exclusively developed for surgeons, but many medical professionals are finding it to be a beneficial tool. One surgeon likened Google Glass to the rearview mirror of a car, explaining, “That rear view is always there when I need it, but it’s not there when I don’t.”

Benefits of Google Glass in Foot Surgery

There are many potential applications for Google Glass in a foot surgeon’s suite. For example, doctors can:

– Log medical records automatically.

– View patient x-rays during surgery.

– Communicate with the patient’s family members.

– Broadcast surgeries over the internet.

– Get a second opinion from another medical professional instantly.

– Teach medical students in rural areas.

– Translate surgeon’s words into a foreign language.

Cons of Using Google Glass for Foot Surgery

As with any technology, Google Glass isn’t without its flaws, says CBC News CanadaFor starters, battery life is limited. Procedures lasting longer than 30 minutes will require an external battery. Other downsides include:

– The need for a strong Wi-Fi connection in the operating room

– Limited visibility that doesn’t extend beyond the top part of what is viewed by the wearer

– The potential for eye strain

– Limited voice commands

– Patient privacy and confidentiality concerns

– A high price-tag ($1500)

Google is fine-tuning the product using feedback from early testers. It’s also rumored they are looking at dropping the price down to the $300 – $500 range once it hits consumer markets.

sports medicine ny
Dr. Geldwert uses the latest technology in his NY podiatric care and sports medicine practice.
Image Source: ASALaser.com

Foot Surgeon Dr. Geldwert: Always On The Cutting Edge

Perhaps we’ll give Google Glass a whirl someday in the near future. After all, our New York City sports medicine center has provided over 20,000 patients with the latest technology in foot surgery and care over the years.

We offer such innovative procedures and technology as:

– Cryotherapy

– PinPointe toenail fungus lasers

– Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Treatment

– MIX5 Therapy lasers

– Computerized gait analysis

– Mini-tightrope surgical procedures

– Laparoscopic surgery

– Platelet-rich plasma

Athletes who want to get back to the game quickly understand that finding modern facilities with the latest tools at their disposal is crucial. Our staff includes podiatrists and foot surgeons, as well as physical therapists and sports trainers. If you’re in the Manhattan or White Plains area, please fill out our online contact form to schedule a meeting with our team of experienced, tech-savvy sports medicine professionals. We’d love to hear from you!

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.