Do you think that applies beyond health care as well? Oh, I do. Do you think it’s IBM that makes the big innovations? Of course it doesn’t. It’s the two or three guys or gals who come together and innovate and drive some new disruptive solution home. Not large, lumbering companies. So whether it’s a person or a small group, a skunkworks, it’s that sort of thing. Tell us about your Google Glass project in delivering health care. Did it work? I was asked to pilot Google Glass in health care. What we decided was the use case would be the emergency department. The plan was this: We lock the devices in a safe. A physician comes in, unlocks the safe, takes out a device, puts it on. Logs in by looking at a QR code that is unique to that individual physician. So a physician is now in the department, on shift and logged into the glass. As they walk into any room, they look at the door. On every door is a QR code. The registration system assigns patients to a room. Therefore, the physician knows which patient is in the room they’re walking in. They can see the problem list, medication list, allergies, laboratory results, care plans and other things in Google Glass as they are talking to the patient. MIT SL SLOAN MANA AN MANAGEMEN GEMENT REVIEW T REVIEW DIGIT DIGITAL AL Copyright © Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015. All rights reserved. Reprint #57109
So we went live with it and deployed it. It was, I think, four pairs of Glass across eight doctors, who used it for several months. And then we threw it away. Because it worked flawlessly from our perspective, but the Google Glass was a horrifically engineered device. Used a TI processor that overheated. We had one pair melt. Had a one-and-a-half-hour battery life. Wi-Fi didn’t roam. It didn’t have Android updates. It had security problems. So it was just a prototype that was not ready for prime time. Of course, we think wearable computing is really great and important, and we will be happy to use a device in the future that actually works. So you’re not using that at all right now? We can’t, because it can’t hold a charge for more than an hour and a half and they melt. Wow. Okay. What about Apple Watch, you mentioned that one. Yes. The idea was this: If you have a patient with, for example, multiple medications, that patient may not understand what medications to take when. So what if, on the Apple Watch, you gently tap them using the optics. You show them a picture of the pill to take. After they take it, they tap the watch and you have a patient- generated electronic medication administration record showing compliance with medications. And? How did that experiment go? So I am a white male, and I have very little body hair, and it turns out that the watch works fabulous on me. But if the watch is put onto a dark-skinned person, especially one with a lot of body hair, the sensors don’t work. Apple in its release scaled back a lot of its health-related telemetry goals, and focused more on fitness — how much did I run, that sort of thing. We may get there, but at the moment the design of the sensors just don’t work for everybody.
- Fall '15
- Economics, Electronic health record, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Sloan Management Review