Startup Launches Google Glass App for Doctors

Tim Maytom

frames_splitCalifornia-based startup Drchrono has launched what it claims is the first "wearable health record", a Google Glass app designed for use by doctors and surgeons to maintain patients' electronic medical records.

The app enables doctors to record consultations or surgeries and store videos, photos and notes either in an existing database or in Box, a cloud-based storage solution which invested in the app's development.

While use of the app relies on patient consent to being recorded, Dr Bill J. Metaxas, a podiatrist who uses Glass in the operating room and consultations, said 99 per cent of his patients agreed to the gadget being used. However, he added that few physicians have adopted the technology so far, and that certain precautions had to be taken before using Glass in medical settings, such as ensuring the device and data were secure.

Despite these reservations, at least 20 venture-backed startups are currently developing Glass apps that cater to the niche audience of physicians, and the Glass team hosted an event last month for care providers, hospital administrators and medical-tech entrepreneurs where bringing wearable tech into medical facilities was the focus of the conversation.

This push into the medical and health industries is a reflection of a wider trend in mobile and wearable technology right now, with Apple launching an mHealth app as part of iOS 8, and studies showing that the mHealth industry will be worth $26bn (£15bn) by 2017, and that by the end of 2012, 2.8m patients worldwide were already using dedicated home monitoring services as part of their recovery.