Google Glass Brings Doctors Closer to Patients
Like a lot of physicians, CHI Health Clinic Primary Care Provider Kirti Gupta, MD, PhD, enjoys the one-on-one aspect of caring for patients.
“I want to be talking face to face,” she said.
The need to thoroughly document clinic visits often put a laptop screen between physicians and their patients.
Rather than toggle between talking and typing, Dr. Gupta now wears a Google Glass headset. Through its lens, a scribe thousands of miles away observes a live stream of the clinic visit and enters pertinent data into the patient’s chart.
The non-obtrusive approach puts patients at ease. Dr. Gupta can focus completely on the visit, and provide patients a printed care plan before they leave the clinic.
“It helps eliminate any confusion and improves compliance with treatment regimens,” Dr. Gupta said. “And it helps improve communication with the patient’s family.”
Very few patients have objected to the technology. One even gave Dr. Gupta ceramic beads to add bling to the glasses.
“This is just a tool that helps physicians accurately document the visit and it improves our interaction,” Dr. Gupta said.
Privacy remains paramount. Everything occurring in the doctor’s office remains confidential. To shield the scribe from viewing physical exams, Dr. Gupta simply pushes the glasses on top of her head.
“There is no compromise of the patient’s privacy,” Dr. Gupta said. “The scribes follow the same HIPAA privacy rules.”
It’s a trend on the rise. Twenty-nine CHI Health physicians are currently using Google Glass, and 20 more plan to adopt the technology within 12 months.