An attendee tries Google Glass during the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, California. (AFP Photo)
I had long viewed Google Glass as a weird gizmo for geeks. But last week, something made me sit up when I visited the Philips Innovation Campus in Bangalore.
The company has developed a Glass app that a surgeon can use to monitor the heart rate and other indicators even as she performs an operation, without wasting a split second to turn the head.
To go with this, Philips now has a centralised command in Chennai where medical scans are stored and analysed over the Internet. The company has also shrunk the ultrasound machine into a device that can be viewed on a tablet-PC like monitor, down from a bulky, unwieldy contraption. It has also made a ECG scanner that is now the size of a cellphone.
Come to think of it, all this is similar to how our music systems and television sets have shrunk in size and how we buy air tickets online. But the impact in medical science seems more dramatic. Now, it will be increasingly possible for better pre-natal and cardiac care because these portable devices also carry software and data that help fast diagnostics.
The same technology that we discuss in so many contexts appears much different when it is up against a life-changing situation! Clearly, there is more to technology than meets the eye, pun intended.
(The writer’s visit to Bangalore and stay were sponsored by Philips)