Google Glass app for dental surgery debuts

Avinent Glass provides real-time instructions to dentists as they install tooth implants.--Courtesy of Avinent

Spanish dental implant company Avinent and mobile app company Droiders launched Avinent Glass earlier this month to provide real-time instructions to dentists as they install tooth implants.

The app, which appears in the corner of the glass interface, shows the dentist where each surgical tool is located and when to use it. Technical specifications also appear on the screen.

A YouTube video demonstrating the product in action shows a green check mark appear on the screen when the dentist says "OK" to indicate he is ready to move on to the next step. In addition, the screen disappears when the dentist says "close."

"One of the main characteristics of [Google Glass] is that you don't need your hands to give instructions or move from one window to the next one," said Avinent's Joan Piqué Serra in an article in MD+DI. "This is a very useful feature in the surgical process."

Avinent marks each implant with a QR code. The dentist scans the QR code prior to surgery using his Google Glass, enabling the app to provide information about the implant's size, batch number and even expiration date, according to the article.

So far the debut has been limited to test cases, and commercialization is expected later this year. "After several months of hard work, we have been testing the Avinent Glass with several [dental] surgeons, recording their feedback to make sure the app is useful for the surgeons' everyday work," Serra said.

The app can record surgeries and share them with others over the Internet, giving it potential as a tool for training others.

Several others are trying to use Google Glass for surgeries. For example, CrowdOptic, a mobile communications provider, and ProTransport-1, a medical transport provider, are teaming up to outfit teams of paramedics with the technology. The partnership will provide first responders with the ability to broadcast a live view of the situations they encounter while en route to hospitals and allow for collaboration with doctors who are not on the scene.

Earlier this year, San Francisco startup Augmedix received $3.2 million in venture funding to use Google Glass to help doctors more efficiently push information to electronic health record systems and seek information from them verbally.

- read the MD+DI article and/or watch the video
- here's the launch release from Avinent