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Chennai Chief surgeon J.S. Rajkumar becomes first in country to air surgery live via Google Glass

Friday, 20 September 2013 - 5:45pm IST | Place: Chennai | Agency: ANI

A doctor here has become the first in India to live stream a surgery wearing Google Glass.

Chief surgeon J.S. Rajkumar live streamed an upper gastro-intestinal laparoscopy procedure on a 45-year-old man to medical students seated two blocks away.

Google Glass has a frame similar to traditional spectacles, but is actually a wearable computer that follows voice commands. It can take photos and videos to show the viewpoint of the user.

Dr. Rajkumar, who wore the latest gadget in the operation theatre, performed a medical procedure to repair the patient’s simple hernia on September 19.

Praising Google for its latest gizmo, Dr. Rajkumar said: “We did two operations. One was laparoscopic and one was open. I wore the Google Glass and performed both the operations. See, the advantage of the Google Glass, I want to explain is not that it is a machine that will operate or anything like that. We used it to transmit the data from the operating field to our annexe, which is about 500 metres down the road, where a bunch of doctors, surgeons and medical students and press people were sitting,” he said.

Dr. Rajkumar added that the gadget would help in boosting a patient’s confidence, who would feel assured about the transparency of any surgery.

Considering India’s poor infrastructure and insufficient medical amenities in rural areas, Dr. Rajkumar said these glasses would be a boon to the country as surgeons can virtually join hands to operate a patient.

“This is a revolution in healthcare, not because it will allow me to cut deeper or cut sharper. But in India, 83% of the operations happen in villages and small towns, where you don’t have any big specialist. If that surgeon wears a Google Glass, and if he has got basic connectivity, whichever operation he is doing, I can sit five hundred kilometers away and see the operation live time, real time. I can help him, or another surgeon from Hyderabad can help him, surgeon from Delhi, all can work in parallel also to his screen and help him,” he said.

The gadget is yet to hit the markets. However, Google had distributed at least 2000 of the glasses for testing before being made available to the common man. 

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