MedTech Boston Google Glass Challenge Recap #GGMed14






The event was hosted at the Google offices in Cambridge, and the place was packed with 200+ folks as the evening kicked off with four esteemed keynote speakers: Steve Horng, Nayan Jain, Rafael Grossman, and Christopher Coburn.

Dr.Steve Horng of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is the ED lead for the Google Glass Project at Beth Israel, and his team with first to fully integrate Glass with their EMR system and deploy live for clinical use in the emergency department. 

The Beth Israel team has long been at the forefront of technology, having found that providing physicians with iPads allowed clinicians to spend 38 minutes fewer at a workstation. Now their team is testing Glass, including live streaming data so as soon as it's updated in the EMR system it's updated on the Glass.

They've developed processes and systems using Glass to allow clinicians to update the EMR, check on patient status (and even location) while on the move throughout the hospital. Using machine learning techniques, they have even built a cool graphic bar chart which is a one-stop quick look at the patient roster by how sick folks are (based on their projected 30 day mortality).

Their Glass is locked into the hospital network and hooked into the EMR, so you cannot take Glass outside of the hospital, essentially.

Nayan Jain, Presidential Innovation Fellow, spoke about Blue ButtonConnector - a way for patients to find their health information.  He showed a video of how Glass could integrate with Blue Button and went on to share additional information about the site/resource.

Blue Button Connector (currently in beta) will be a symbol for patient's access to their own data. For instance, insurance companies will be able to show the blue button logo on their website, indicating they are participating in the program.  Those developing the program want to empower consumers to be able to do everything from printing a physical copy of their health records to sharing with a third party application.

FYI that Bluebuttonplus.org is the developer site.  

Dr.Rafael Grossman
was up next, and spoke about being the first physician to use Glass during live surgery. An advocate of telemedicine and telementoring, Grossman asked us to imagine how Glass can be used for health care for everything from alerting a phsyician to a patient allergy, the right side for surgery, etc. Grossman feels that "Telementoring through Google glass is the holy grail. Glass is the perfect platform for that."

Dr. Grossman spoke at TEDxDirigo last year on this topic as well - worth a watch - he's a dynamic speaker and an industry leader:



Chris Coburn, VP of Innovation at Partners HealthCare was the final keynote speaker. Coburn spoke on how traditional lab-based innovation is now being eclipsed by things like EMRs and genetic analysis. Decision making in real time is key. He's excited to see how this kind of information will work it's way into the physician/patient encounter (the central hub of healthcare). Coburn previewed that Partners will be sponsoring the World Health Innovation Forum next year in Boston, billed as "the Davos of healthcare."

Next up was a showcase by Dr. Karandeep Singh, Nephrology Fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital, demoing "wearable EHR" for the first time. Dr. Singh is the developer of Brigham's EHR prototype for Glass.  He discussed the pre-EHR world, where to find patient info you went to the bedside and the chart. Now, looking at a patient chart from the workstation is preferable to some, "which means the art of medicine is being lost."

Singh said that "Traditional EHRs don't understand context. Traditional EHRs assume you the physician will design your workflow around it vs the other way around. EHR's are entirely absent where you need them most, which is the bedside."

"The use of a wearable EHR can change patient care and bring back some of that lost art of medicine."




Following Dr. Singh, the panel of judges was introduced, including:

·         Dr. Maulik Majmudar, Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab, Mass General
·         Dr. Ozanan Meireles, General and Gastrointestinal surgeon, Mass General
·         Dr. Daniel Hashimoto, Clinical Fellow in Surgery, Mass General
·         Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh, Fellow in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, MGH/Harvard Medical School
·         Dr. Alia Rashid, Opthalmic Pathology Fellow at Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary
·         Gajen Sunthara, Principal Software Architect, Boston Children's Hospital Innovation Acceleration Program
·         Nabeel Ali, MD Candidate, Mass General/Harvard Medical School

Judges for what, you ask? Judges for the MedTech Google Glass Challenge, in collaboration with the White House Innovation Fellows and H@cking Medicine @MIT.

Competitors for the Pitch-Off flew in from around the country for the finals.  The finalists had made it through two months and three rounds of semi-finals to get to the finals.

Each presenter had 5-7 minutes to pitch and take questions from the panel.

Key themes that emerged from the many pitches were:
·         Using Glass to make recording notes/dictation/operating notes easier
·         Big data - using Glass as a pathway to a repository of data across the EHR while on-the-go
·         Use in the field - including equipping EMTs with Glass to consult with physician visually while en route, equipping areas that have fewer physicans with Glass to enable more telemedicine,  using Glass for home health care and hospice work

Possibly the coolest (visually) pitch was that by Lilit Sargsyan of UT Health who provided an overview of remote ultrasound powered by Glass (the talk included Antarctica and the Space Station).

The winner of the pitch-off was Timothy Aungst, PharmD, who provided a compelling case for "Bringing the Doctor to the Patient's Home"

It was great to connect with fellow Glass Explorers including Don Schwartz and Trish Whetzel!



And finally, THIS is what happens when the event is located near the MIT COOP: 




Additional resources

Photos from the event can be found here


Great blog post by VectorSpect - who were the hosts of the Glass Meetup that evening