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Surgery with Google Glass at UCSF bringing HIPAA compliance at a glance

Google Glass surgery

Last week, CrowdOptic, a company that makes video streaming software for wearable devices, announced a partnership with UCSF in hopes of improving patient care and physician training. The first set of tests will involve recording surgeries being performed for offsite broadcast (similar to what we’ve seen before), but CrowdOptic’s software goes one step further by letting physicians in the room share videos streams. Today, the company today told 9to5Google that they’re including a new yet-to-be officially announced feature: a quick way to ensure HIPAA compliance.

Via a local server, the software running on a physician’s Glass is capable of broadcasting both out to the world as well as inherited on any number of devices also being worn in the operating room. As you may know, Google Glass by default connects to Google’s own cloud for providing access to Google Maps and other native applications, but to preserve patient privacy, CrowdOptic’s proprietary software will keep the device essentially behind a virtual wall when in the OR to make sure this data is only being used for the purposes that it is intended.

Part of what makes CrowdOptic’s software special is that it has the ability to live stream what’s happening in the operating room to other doctors who are also wearing Glass. Unlike demos we’ve seen in the past of one doctor that is simply streaming to an audience, visiting physicians using this software will be able to quickly jump in on an operation happening in-room and inherit the views of others wearing Google’s device, as well as those of fixed cameras.

The new information here, though, is that CrowdOptic’s software can toggle the device between what are essentially “HIPAA” and “non-HIPAA” modes with just a glance. The device will lock down to being HIPAA compliant when a physician glances toward a room where an operation is happening, but the physician can leave the room and immediately regain access to the device’s other functions (i.e. Google Maps).

Essentially, UCSF is able to hand out Glass devices to physicians-in-training that are ready to toggle between HIPAA-compliance and non-HIPAA-compliance with just a glance. Starting in sports and now making their way to the medical field, CrowdOptic’s software seems to bring an elegant way for Glass users to collaborate and make the overall use case of a wearable camera in the OR better for everyone involved.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.