Likely to the dismay of many, Google Glass has hit another milestone. The University of California Irvine School of Medicine has become the first school to fully incorporate Google Glass into its four-year curriculum.
“I believe digital technology will let us bring a more impactful and relevant clinical learning experience to our students,” said Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of medicine at the UCI School of Medicine. “Enabling our students to become adept at a variety of digital technologies fits perfectly into the ongoing evolution of healthcare into a more personalized, participatory, home-based, and digitally driven endeavor.”
Going forward, freshmen and sophomores will be able to use Glass in anatomy courses and clinical skills training, while juniors and seniors will be able to take Glass on their hospital rotations. The first Glass units will be deployed this month, with 10 pairs of Glass initially available. The early plan is for Glass to be used in operating rooms and the emergency department by third and fourth year students. 20 to 30 additional pairs of Glass will be acquired for first and second year students in August, when they begin course work.
“Medical education has always been very visual and very demonstrative, and Glass has enormous potential to positively impact the way we can educate physicians in real time,” said Dr. Warren Wiechmann, assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of instructional technologies. Weichmann will oversee the implementation of Glass at the UCI School of Medicine.
For complicated tasks like surgery, Glass can be an invaluable tool, essentially allowing students to see through the professor’s eyes, but Wiechmann envisions an even deeper connection that the device could enable.
“The most promising part is having patients wear Glass so that our students can view themselves through the patients’ eyes, experience patient care from the patients’ perspective, and learn from that information to become more empathic and engaging physicians,” said Wiechmann.
While there may be many reasons to dislike Google Glass, it does have its merits within health, parenting, and possibly on the battlefield. It may not end up being the commercial success Google envisioned Glass being, but in the fields where information and free hands are paramount, Glass has found a home.