How Augmented Reality and Google Glass are Changing the Lives of Physicians and Patients

Technology is changing the way physicians work with patients. Augmented reality (AR), for example, is in place at some healthcare organizations and is already helping to increase efficiency and improve patient care.

Sutter Health Network is one such organization.

Three years ago, Dr. Albert Chan, the chief of digital patient experience at Sutter, partnered up with Augmedix to provide Google Glass for patient visits. More than 100 physicians at Sutter have conducted 175,000 patient visits in the past three years wearing Google Glass.

The doctor wears the AR glasses when they see a patient, and the visit is streamed in real time to a scribe who takes notes from a remote location.

In addition to helping doctors stay on top of their patients’ issues and pay closer attention to the patient while they are in the office, the use of Google Glass is also improving efficiency. It saves time for doctors, who often spend up to two hours at the end of each day on paperwork.

Saving up to two hours a day per physician is a big deal for an organization as large as Sutter Health, which operates 24 hospitals in northern California and Hawaii—its more than 5,000 physicians and 55,000 employees treat more than 3 million patients a year. The use of Google Glass also reduces burnout by giving medical staff more free time.

This is exactly what Augmedix founder and CEO Ian Shakil had hoped for. After trying on Google Glass, Shakil was inspired to drop everything and start a company that would take advantage of the technology. Even though Google Glass never made it big in the consumer sector, it’s made a huge difference in the effectiveness, efficiency, and well-being of physicians at Sutter Health and other healthcare organizations using Augmedix’s technology.

Augmedix, a McKesson Ventures portfolio company, is currently valued at more than $100 million. Nearly 1,000 physicians are using Google Glass through a partnership with Augmedix.

Read the full story here.

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