Devicemakers clamor for Google Glass with product updates on the horizon

Augmedix CEO Ian Shakil

Google ($GOOG) has faced some stumbling blocks with Google Glass since launching the product in 2013, deciding earlier this year to stop selling the device to consumers in light of waning sales. But the company is set to meet increased demand for the product among devicemakers as a new version of Glass hits the market.

As Bloomberg reports, Google is expected to roll out updates to Glass in the coming months, and devicemakers and healthcare providers are eager to cash in on the upgraded products. The updates will likely include an adjustable eyepiece, longer-lasting battery and water-resistant properties, people familiar with the project told the news outlet, potentially offering more selling points for device companies implementing Glass technology.

After Google ended consumer sales of the gadget, it said it would invest in the enterprise market and unveiled a "Glass at Work" initiative to get software developers to target businesses. And according to IDC analyst Ramon Llamas, the company's corporate push has paid off. Most of the Glass devices sold last year went to business clients, including many in the medical field who have kept buying this year, Ramon told Bloomberg.

Devicemakers using the company's Glass tool include Irvine, CA-based Endologix and San Francisco-based Augmedix. Endologix applies Glass technology to physician training, recently beaming a video of a New Zealand physician performing an aortic surgery with the company's devices to its U.S. offices. The company usually flies in small groups of doctors to attend its training surgeries. But in the future, Endologix will be able to let up to 450 people watch a Glass-wearing surgeon from their desktops, the Bloomberg article notes, potentially saving time and money.

"In the future, I could see every physician wearing the Glass for training," Keri Hawkins, Endologix's global director of professional education, told the news outlet. "It will change the way we train in healthcare."

Augmedix is also cashing in on trend, offering Glass devices loaded with software that automatically fills out medical records as doctors talk to patients, Bloomberg reports. The company charges "single-digit thousands" every month for each doctor, CEO Ian Shakil told the news outlet. And the devicemaker expects the system to attract more business in the future.

"We have seven health-system customers, hundreds of users," Shakil said, as quoted by Bloomberg. "Next year we'll reach thousands."

- read the Bloomberg story

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