|A researcher demonstrates Google Glass diagnostic capabilities--Courtesy of UCLA|
Some UCLA scientists are hard at work looking at how to tap into the potential of Google Glass for medical use. Nanowerk reported that researchers have developed an app for the futuristic device that could enable instant, wireless diagnostic testing for HIV, types of cancer and other diseases.
Credit a team from the university system's California NanoSystems Institute and the David Geffen School of Medicine for the advance. The journal ACS Nano details their findings.
Nanowerk noted that the invention covers both a Google Glass application and a server platform to enable wireless medical diagnostic testing. According to the story, a technician could use the hands-free Google Glass camera to take an image of a rapid diagnostic test. The app then uses a code identifier specific to each test to essentially transmit the data to a central server, process the information and evaluate the results, even from multiple devices. The Google Glass user (a clinician/technician) then receives a quantitative diagnostic result via the Google Glass device. Results, the researchers believe, can be uploaded and analyzed in as little as 8 seconds.
Nanowerk explained that this is the first biomedical sensing application developed through Google Glass. It worked well through initial testing with HIV and prostate cancer rapid diagnostic tests. More testing would be needed here to make this viable, but it could make diagnostic testing much quicker and significantly more affordable.
At the same time, the advance also comes as the FDA and the device and diagnostics industry is dealing with a proliferation of mobile medical apps of all stripes. Regulators are scrambling to keep up and develop sufficient regulation and oversight as the app availability accelerates.
A Google ($GOOG) R&D team met in December with FDA experts on mobile health apps, ophthalmology, in vitro diagnostics and women's health. The company said it is developing a glucose-monitoring smart contact lens for diabetics. Similarly, Apple ($AAPL) execs met around the same time with FDA officials to talk about mobile medical apps. Rumor has it Apple is hard at work on a smartwatch widely expected to include some health-monitoring functions.