Singapore Hospital Uses Smart Glass Device to Complement Telemedicine Services

February 2022

Alexander Hospital is the first healthcare institution in Singapore and Asia Pacific to use Google Glass headsets, a wearable technology that provides doctors with real-time information, allowing them to join home visits virtually and to diagnose patients immediately. This technology records consultation with patients and showcases how clinicians can benefit from hands-free, voice-controlled access to critical data while in the operating room or on-the-go in the hospital.

Nurses who do home visits can use the Google Glass device, which has a camera and microphone integrated into the headset, to pick up visual and sound respectively. The data captured allows doctors in hospitals to get real-time feed and they can instruct nurses to do more checks on the patients. The glasses free the nurses’ hands to examine more easily and patients can clarify their medical questions instantly.

In Singapore, the new health economy is causing a shift in the medical sector. The Covid-19 pandemic introduced new challenges to the healthcare system and the strain on front-line workers posed an urgency for hospitals to sought new solutions that could alleviate manpower fatigue and crunch. To facilitate patient rehabilitation, complement their existing telemedicine services and manage demand in their hospital’s emergency department, Alexandra Hospital procured five Google’s Glass Enterprise Edition 2 in October 2021.The positive feedback from doctors and clinicians urged the hospital to procure three more devices.

According to Integrated Health Information Systems, a tech agency for public healthcare institutions in Singapore, telemedicine services are on a rise in the city-state. Between 2017 to early 2020, there were only 1,947 patients who utilized telemedicine services and by October 2020, 4,227 patients sought medical diagnosis via video consultations. This trend continued in 2021, with more than 70 departments in multiple healthcare institutions providing teleconsultation services, including patients who required high-risk medication.

The delivery and innovation of healthcare solutions are now guided by consumer needs, giving rise to digital health solutions that directly connect provider and patient. PwC Singapore estimates that in the Southeast Asia region public sector expenditure will double to USD 740 billion between 2017 and 2025. The region will see strong growth in telehealth, digital therapeutics, diagnostics, remote patient monitoring and analytics.

(Sources: The Straits Times, EDB Singapore)

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