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Int J Surg. 2014 Dec;12(12):1266-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2014.09.014. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

Medical applications of near-eye display devices: an exploratory study.

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Graz University of Technology, Department of Engineering- and Business Informatics, Kopernikusgasse 24, 8010 Graz, Austria. Electronic address:
Graz University of Technology, Department of Engineering- and Business Informatics, Kopernikusgasse 24, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Hospital of Elisabethinen, Elisabethinergasse 14, 8020 Graz, Austria.
University of California Berkeley, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, Sutardja Dai Hall, 94720 Berkeley, USA.
University of California Davis Medical Center, Department of Emergency Medicine, 2315 Stockton Blvd., 95817 Sacramento, CA, USA.



Near-eye display devices (such as Google Glass) may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical care by giving clinicians information (such as the patient's vital signs) continuously within their field of vision during various procedures. We describe the use of Glass during a radiological intervention in three patients. Other possible applications (including tele-mentoring and the supervision of trainees) are discussed and a classification proposed.


An app was developed to facilitate the use of Glass, so vital physical signs (pulse and blood pressure) could be projected on the near-eye display, via an intranet to protect sensitive data. The device was then used during radiological interventions (percutaneous transluminal angioplasty) in three patients, and assessed by the interventionalists who were interviewed before and after each procedure.


The interventionalists reported that Google Glass improved concentration on the task in hand by reducing head and neck movements (which would be needed to view several remote monitors). However, heat generation by the device and low battery capacity are shortcomings for which solutions must be developed, and data protection is mandatory.


Google Glass may have a number of clinical applications and can quicken interventions where vital signs or other visual data need to be monitored by the operator.


Clinical information service; Google Glass; Near-eye display device; OHMD; Process improvement

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