Google Glass may have been a miss for the masses, but is has found new life in the medical industry. Augmedix was recently Named The Number One Most Innovative Healthcare Company of 2016 by Fast Company.
Physicians spend more than a third of their day on the computer, inputting or retrieving patient data from electronic health records (EHRs), according to a recent survey. Physicians also report that typing at a computer during an exam can interfere with important interactions with patients. With the move to electronic health records (EHRs), physicians are spending more time in front of the computer and less time speaking face-to-face with patients. This can hurt practices through lost revenue, reduced provider and patient satisfaction, and charting accuracy.
A pilot of Google Glass + Augmedix has been in place at the Ventura Medical Clinic since January 2014. The pilot involves three family practice physicians who have taken part in over 2,700 patient visits. Since beginning to use the technology, their physicians have reported a decrease in total daily time spent entering data into EHRs from 33 percent to 9 percent and increased direct patient care from 35 percent to 70 percent. The early results are extremely positive and they are working to expand the usage at other clinics.
How it Works
Before an exam, a physician will put on the Google Glass device, launch the Augmedix software, and then enter the exam room to speak with a patient. The physician and patient have a natural conversation, including addressing the issue(s) that brought the patient in to see the doctor. The audio and visual information is securely streamed via the Glass device through the Augmedix solution, where a combination of technology and human resources ensure that accurate information is entered into the patient’s electronic medical record in real time.
“This technology allows me to maintain eye contact with my patients and have continuous conversations without having to enter information into a computer,” said Dr. Davin Lundquist, family medicine practitioner and Dignity Health’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer. “The ability to listen, communicate, and care is just as critical as the diagnosis, and this technology allows me to spend more focused and quality time with my patients.”
In addition, physicians have the ability to access patient data and search for information by making simple verbal requests similar to OnStar or Siri. The doctor can, for example, query the last three blood pressures tests and have the results delivered to his or her Google Glass device.
The physician is still required to access the record to ensure accuracy, as well as to enter orders for tests or prescription medications.
Patient privacy is a key factor in deploying this solution. It is suggested that medical office staff inform patients both verbally and in writing about Glass and how their doctors use it. If a patient asks that Glass be removed, the physician does so, no questions asked. As of June 2014, less than 1% of patients have asked that their physician not to use Glass during their visit.
Augmedix providers are better able to focus on patient care, and as a result, they have received overwhelmingly positive patient feedback. Before a provider begins to wear Google Glass, personalized patient education and consent materials are created for the provider’s administrative staff. All patients are given a choice to opt-in or opt-out of the Augmedix Service. The global patient acceptance rate exceeds 99%.
Augmedix is HIPAA compliant. The service is encrypted end-to-end and strict operational protocols are in place to safeguard patient health information. In addition, they regularly subject their security measures to rigorous testing.
For more information go to www.augmedix.com.