Doctors Live-Streaming Patient Exams to Note-Takers via Google Glass

A 2016 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that physicians spent 37 percent of their time on a computer during exams. This can frustrate patients because they don’t think they’re getting the doctor’s full attention.

Not only that, but physicians spend one to two hours after work completing electronic health records (EHRs) and other “desktop medicine” requirements, according to the same study.

Sutter Health Network has chosen to solve that problem by using Google Glass to stream audio and video of a patient to an offsite medical scribe, who writes the notes that go into the HER.

The system is provided by Augmedix, a company funded by McKesson Ventures, Sutter Health, and Dignity Health Network, among others.

More than 1,000 doctors across the U.S. are using the service, including about 100 Sutter internal medicine doctors. Sutter is expanding Augmedix’s record-keeping service for use by specialists like dermatologists, podiatrists, and orthopedists.

The cost of the Augmedix service generally ranges from $1,500 to $3,500 per physician, per month.

What about privacy concerns during medical exams? The audio-video stream is highly encrypted and can be turned off. Augmedix Co-Founder Ian Shakil said, “To be honest, when we first founded the business, we had no idea if this issue was going to be a show-stopper or not a big deal. We’ve since grown and we’ve learned that it’s not actually a big deal.”

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