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VOL. 37 | NO. 20 | Friday, May 17, 2013

Using video glasses in health care applications

By Harriet Wallace

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The owner of Brentwood’s Applied Technology envisions hands-free video sunglasses finding a niche in Nashville’s health care industry.

John McConnell’s company designed the software and manages data for the Pivothead Manufacturing start-up that sells video-recording eyewear, and he says that the glasses could advance medical research and provide improved patient care.

Anderson Spickard, III, associate professor of Medicine and Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, agrees there is a place for this type of technology, particularly at a teaching hospital such as Vanderbilt or Meharry.

“We have long been in the business of video and recording our lectures in our classrooms, but there are many highways and byways and places you can imagine that capturing a picture and audio could be helpful, such as a spontaneous conversation with a mentor on a case,’’ he says.

“The encounter with a patient with a rash could be used to make a point with a small group assigned to work in that clinic. We can take a live interaction and turn into a teaching moment if we record it,’’ Spickard adds.

Vanderbilt uses a number of visual tools, including cameras in dermatology clinics and placed at the end of scopes used to check the lungs and stomach.

Spickard says he sees the video recording eyewear being used more for the moments when the doctors make their rounds with patients and engage them, then turning them around and using that data to teach.