Tracking How Healthcare Professionals See Health Information

The iPad and its tablet brethren are so 2010, at least according to some tech-obsessed individuals who are now focusing a longing gaze on Google Glass. While the computerized eyewear that can connect to the Internet and remotely access data might leave fashionistas wanting, it has some health experts pondering the advances and dangers it could bring to healthcare and health IT. In mid-June of 2013, two surgeons—one in Bangor, ME, and one in Scottsdale, AZ—successfully wore Google Glass to live-stream and record a surgical procedure. The procedures involved a feeding tube placement in Maine and a knee fracture repair in Arizona. Both surgeons did the demos, according to news reports, to demonstrate the device's capabilities and make use of its educational opportunities for medical students.

Developers continue to hunt for new, innovative healthcare applications for Google Glass. One potential use being floated by healthcare gurus is video storage and archiving, wherein doctors could record interactions with patients to be saved and archived in medical center libraries and patient records. Meanwhile, HIM professionals are looking for ways to keep patients' health information safe and secure. The chief medical officer at the Bangor hospital told the Bangor Daily News that Google Glass applications like these lack the security features of typical electronic health records, something HIM professionals should note.

Protecting patient information, regardless of the technology, is what HIM professionals do best. They have been "seeing" technological advances through the eyes of patients and providers since AHIMA was founded 85 years ago.

Article citation:
AHIMA. "Tracking How Healthcare Professionals See Health Information" Journal of AHIMA 84, no.9 (September 2013): 88.