OSU Surgeon Performs Surgery with the Help of ‘Google Glass’


Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center created history on Aug. 21 when a new ACL ( Anterior cruciate ligament) surgery performed by the school's orthopedic surgeon was relayed live to another medical team across town via Google glass for the first time in the U.S.

The hospital was one of 1,000 participants in the country selected to assess the potential benefits of Google Glass.

Dr. Christopher C. Kaeding found the Glass to be weightless as he almost forgot its existence during the surgery. He was also the first Ohio State surgeon to use the gadget.

"By the time I finished the surgery it was quite comfortable," said Kaeding, who is also the director of sports medicine at OSU. "I was impressed by how quickly you adjust to it."

The surgical operation was done on a 47-year-old woman who sustained injuries to her knee while playing softball.

The wearable computer, similar to eyeglasses, features a camera and a computer and microphone, allowing doctors to communicate and refer to patient x-rays and medical histories while in surgery.

"It's hands-free and voice-activated, so I can keep my hands sterile as a surgeon," Kaeding said.

Kaeding was able to communicate with a fellow surgeon from his office and answer questions asked by medical students. All these people witnessed the procedure by logging into Google Hangout.

"We think at the educational level that training people and putting people virtually in the middle of the operating room, so that they can experience real time what the surgeon is seeing, thinking and doing," said  Dr. Clay Marsh.

Kaeding said that the glass can also be used to display medical images during surgery in the future.

"You could look at CAT scans or MRIs and flip back and forth between them without leaving the table," Kaeding said. "I could also see how you could monitor vital signs out of the corner of your eye-it's like quickly looking in your rear-view mirror."

Plus, it can prove to be an inexpensive medium to educate students, as it costs just $1,500. However, experts believe that the price might go down further when it is publicly available.

"I'd like to be part of developing its use here," Kaeding said. "I could see many people using this technology in the future."

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