Google recently ended its Google Glass Explorer program after nearly two years of attempting to push the wearable device as a must-have and the wave of the future. While many consumers were critical of the look of the device, it managed to find a unique segment of the population that found great use for the device: those in the medical industry.

There are a number of practical ways doctors and surgeons have adopted Google Glass and used it to benefit their patients including, telemedicine, streaming surgeries and procedures, conferencing and more.

While Google may not be continuing its sales of Glass as it exists now, many speculate that this is just the beginning of a new chapter in the way wearables are put to use in the doctor’s office or operating room. A startup recently raised $16 million to put Google Glass to work reducing the time doctors spend on health records – and they aren’t the only company using Glass in the medical field. You may be wondering, what can be done if support for Google Glass’ Explorer program  has ended from its parent company?

Looking Ahead

The wonderful thing about innovation is that an idea from one person can be adapted and improved upon by others. Glass is one such device whose usefulness isn’t ending with Google, but beginning for others.

“Google Glass is not a failed product; it is an incredibly successful prototype,” says EHR workflow guru and social media maven Charles Webster, MD, an early Glass Explorer.

Worth noting is that the Glass at Work program is still up and running, with several interested parties still developing apps for Glass. Many of those developers are working in the medical field and exploring some of the useful ways Google Glass can improve health care. This slideshow examines a number of the ways this technology will be beneficial for health care.

With faster processors, smaller and better ergonomics and more affordable technology being developed it isn’t a matter of IF Google Glass can be adopted and used long-term by those in the medical industry, but just a matter of when.