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    Google Glass useful for Mohs surgery

    Google Glass, the wearable optical technology that looks like a fancy pair of eyeglasses, is a promising tool for use in the context of Mohs and skin cancer surgery, according to an abstract presented this weekend at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

    READ: More coverage of the ASDS 2014 Annual Meeting

    “It is most useful as a hands-free camera/video recorder. Thus one can capture still images of Mohs layers, defects, repairs, etc.,” says abstract presenter Jonathan Kantor, M.D., medical director of the Florida Center for Dermatology, and adjunct assistant professor of Dermatology at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

    In addition, he says, the Google Glass technology can be used for live-streaming of techniques and approaches. And it can transmit live video to an in-office iPad so patients can view hard-to-reach areas or even watch their own surgical procedures, he says.

    The abstract reports on Google Glass use in 50 patients with an average age of 69 who underwent Mohs surgery.

    “Patients are remarkably happy with it. I have had essentially no push-back,” Dr. Kantor says. “It has also provoked some significant local media attention as a result of patients discussing how much they appreciate the use of modern technology in the context of their care.”

    Dr. Kantor cautions that physicians should be careful about patient privacy. “Start out slowly and make sure that patients are comfortable with photography. I do a lot of teaching and writing so my patients are used to being photographed and recorded, but this is not the case in many practices,” he says. “Also, be wary of potential interference from electrocautery machines, which can trigger the device to start or stop recording if it is too close to the handpiece. Take some time to figure out how to integrate the device with your existing lighting/loupe system.”

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga is a medical writer based in San Diego, Calif.

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