NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City metro doctor has added a wearable computer to his surgical attire.
Dr. Jeff Colyer is a plastic surgeon, Kansas Lt. Governor and techie. When Dr. Colyer goes into the operating room at North Kansas City Hospital, he wears Google Glass for facial reconstructive surgeries. He uploads the patient's x-rays to the device, so he no longer has to look up at the monitor in the operating room.
"I can put that x-ray right in my field of vision, be able to look down at the patient and be able to see that x-ray in real time right here," said Dr. Colyer.
He said it's better for the patient.
"If I can look at my hand and the tool and the x-ray all at the same time, I'm not looking up and back, it's gonna be a safety opportunity for the patient and I'll get a better result," the plastic surgeon said.
The device could also be used for broadcasting surgery and educating or consulting with other docs anywhere in the world. Some doctors are concerned that confidential patient information could accidentally be streamed, and that Google Glass could be a major distraction. A surgeon could conceivably be on social media while operating.
Dr. Colyer downplayed the concerns.
"Anything can distract the doctor. The computer monitors that are in the room, somebody can put a YouTube video on that. Well, we're not doing that. What you're really doing is you're using it as a scientific tool," he said.
Dr. Colyer is a so-called explorer who was selected to test the $1,500 device before it becomes widely available. He expects upgrades including a way to automatically transmit x-rays in the operating room to Google Glass so the surgeon doesn't have to upload those before the operation.