The Feasibility and Acceptability of Google Glass for Teletoxicology Consults


Teletoxicology offers the potential for toxicologists to assist in providing medical care at remote locations, via remote, interactive augmented audiovisual technology. This study examined the feasibility of using Google Glass, a head-mounted device that incorporates a webcam, viewing prism, and wireless connectivity, to assess the poisoned patient by a medical toxicology consult staff. Emergency medicine residents (resident toxicology consultants) rotating on the toxicology service wore Glass during bedside evaluation of poisoned patients; Glass transmitted real-time video of patients’ physical examination findings to toxicology fellows and attendings (supervisory consultants), who reviewed these findings. We evaluated the usability (e.g., quality of connectivity and video feeds) of Glass by supervisory consultants, as well as attitudes towards use of Glass. Resident toxicology consultants and supervisory consultants completed 18 consults through Glass. Toxicologists viewing the video stream found the quality of audio and visual transmission usable in 89 % of cases. Toxicologists reported their management of the patient changed after viewing the patient through Glass in 56 % of cases. Based on findings obtained through Glass, toxicologists recommended specific antidotes in six cases. Head-mounted devices like Google Glass may be effective tools for real-time teletoxicology consultation.

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Funding Sources

This research was supported in part by National Institutes of Health grant 1K24DA037109 Title: Mentoring in advanced mHealth interventions for drug abuse and HAART adherence (PI: Boyer).

Conflict of Interest

This paper is not currently under consideration for publication in other journals. The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

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Correspondence to Peter R. Chai.

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Chai, P.R., Babu, K.M. & Boyer, E.W. The Feasibility and Acceptability of Google Glass for Teletoxicology Consults. J. Med. Toxicol. 11, 283–287 (2015).

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  • Mobile health
  • Telemedicine
  • Wearable devices
  • Google Glass
  • Toxicology