*Photo by Antoine Hunt
*Photo by Antoine Hunt

Rafael Grossmann is a doctor who is passionate about the advent of “tele-medicine” where communication between medical professionals is made possible through remote technology. He came to talk about the new kid on the block — Google Glass, basically a smart phone in the form of a pair of glasses, which is set to revolutionize the medical profession in his eyes. He set the scene by recalling a heart-rending story of when he was a young medical student.

The Venezuelan-born surgeon was working in a remote health centre in the Amazon jungle when a girl, who was still in the process of giving birth to a still-born, was admitted.

Due to his lack of experience, all he could do was arrange a boat to transport her down river to the nearest hospital which was several hours away.

If he had remote technology back then, he could have consulted a doctor and been able to treat the girl himself under his or her instruction.

He said Google Glass is one weapon in the battle against the global deficit of 4.3 million doctors. The technology is already improving the way his hospital operates in Maine and surrounding hospitals.

“It’s not just the technology, it is the idea behind the use of the technology that makes the difference,” he explained. “It has grown and developed with us and helped us take care of our patients. Multiple hospitals are now connected to us we cover a huge area the size of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire together. It allows us — like being a ninja — to be in two places at one time. Healthcare providers could use Glass within the hospital to access information in the medical records.  It can give us reminders and check list.

“Imagine being able to access the records in the clinic.”

He said that Google Glass allows doctors to better connect with their patients as they do not have to turn away and look into a computer screen to retrieve data — they can look at the patient while accessing it.

Finally, Dr Grossmann gave one of the first live Google Glass demonstrations, directing the device to take a picture by saying “Okay Glass, Take a picture” and a picture of the audience appeared on the large screen within seconds.