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The device can offer important advantages in urologic surgical procedures, allowing access to the patient’s data during surgery and in the field of training.

  • Specialists from the Urology Service at MD Anderson Madrid used Google Glass over a period of several weeks to study how the technology may improve surgical practice.

MD Anderson Madrid is taking part in a research project to include Google Glass technology in surgical procedures in urology. The project, called ‘Almirall Smart Glass Program’ and focused on the development of ‘wearable technology’ applications, is being promoted by the pharmaceutical company Almirall in collaboration with technology supplier Softforyou (sfy).

“The use of Google Glass may provide important advantages in urologic surgical procedures, both in a surgeon being able to access the patient’s information during surgery and in the field of training” explains Dr. Jose Maria Garcia Mediero, urology surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid, and project coordinator at the hospital.

In access to a patient’s information, specialists point out the possibility of having access to the patient’s medical history at any time during surgery. “In addition to increasing the options of applying augmented reality when planning surgical procedures, the tool allows us to, for instance, visualize the patient’s scan results during surgery itself. It is possible with the use of a voice command interface, which does not interfere at all with the surgeon’s work during the procedure”, says Dr. Garcia Mediero.

As to the impact of Google Glass technology on training, experts say that it is a real revolution. “Thanks to real-time, high quality video transmission, interns starting their specialty can see what the surgeon is seeing in great detail”, points out the doctor.

A research project looking to the future

The ‘Almirall Smart Glass Program’ project was developed between March and November 2015 with some 100 urologists from around Spain taking part. In the case of the selected MD Anderson Madrid specialists, Google Glass was used over several weeks to study how its use might improve surgical practice.

“From the Urology Service at MD Anderson Madrid we were able to put the potential of this technological tool to the test, which includes being able to extract static and dynamic data on the patient whilst operating and real-time image transmission of open surgery. This all opens new horizons in the field of medicine in general and in surgical oncology in particular”, states Dr. Mediero.