Last week marked the official opening of the new Icon Cancer Care centre in Townsville by Federal Minister for Health Peter Dutton, and I took along my Google Glass to capture all of the action in addition to introducing it to the Icon team.
In particular, I wanted to show Glass to Dr Sabe Sabesan, an oncologist based at the centre who is a pioneer in the area of telehealth and has been conducting oncology services using various technologies since 2007 (click here to read more about Dr Sabesan).
During this time he has also participated in a published research project which quantified the significant cost savings achieved by telehealth, over and above the lifestyle benefits for the patients who have been able to access specialist treatment locally without the need for time consuming and costly travel (click to read more about the cost savings from this telemedicine model of care).
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce Dr Sabesan to Google Glass, as I knew he would have great feedback on the opportunities he saw it presenting in this space. After overcoming an initial hiccup where the Glass screen went blank every time he put it on(!), we got into a proper demonstration and conversation started flying about the possibilities.
This was brought to a halt by the arrival of the Minister, and the commencement of the formalities, which I captured through Glass.
The Minister had noticed Glass (hard to avoid when you are wearing a bright blue piece of tech on your head), and was keen to hear more about it during his tour of the facility, which includes a new state-of the-art teleconferencing room for doctors and nurses to carry their consultations and educational sessions into remote regional areas.
After the tour concluded, it was time to get the speeches underway, and my recent bout of asthma, which has left me with shaky hands (side effect of inhaled bronchodilators), saw me very grateful for the stability that the head-mounted aspect of Glass provides. I was able to get some great pics of the opening and record the Minister’s speech on video without getting any of the wobbles that I undoubtedly would have experienced if using my phone or any other handheld device.
The slideshow below shows a few photos taken at the event:
And here is Minister Dutton’s speech:
As always, Glass generated lots of opportunities for conversation and demonstration, all of which were very positive. As soon as people try on Glass, they immediately see the potential benefits and start to think what their own personal application would be. I love hearing their ideas, and seeing that initial reaction. Even the local news crews gave it a trial run!
The only person with any kind of negative comment was one of the patients, who said she would never be able to use it because she couldn’t even get mobile phone reception at her remote location, never mind high-speed internet connections. She loved the concept though, and maybe the long-mooted national broadband network will eventually make it possible for her.
I’m looking forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of Glass and telehealth with Dr Sabesan and the rest of the Icon team, and will continue to keep you posted.