Google Glass in Dentistry Programme at Umea University

GEUG14: Google Glass in Dentistry Programme at Umea University, Sweden

We started to integrate Google Glass as a device in dentistry program at Umea University in Sweden in 2013. In this project we particularly focused on those activities where dentist students have their clinical practice with the patients. We are exploring how Google Glass may facilitate the communication between the students and their teacher during the student’s clinical practices with the patient.

  • Before Google Glass. The dentist students had patients in a booth. When a student needed help from the teacher, they wrote the number of the booth on a whiteboard where they are located with their patient so the teacher would know, looking at the white board, that a student needed help with something.
  • With Google Glass. The dentist students have patients in a booth. The students use mobile devices (e.g. media tablets) and the teacher uses Google Glass to communicate with each other. The students send emails or a Hangout message to the teacher that describes where they are, in which booth and what they need help with. The teacher gets a notification through a sound, while wearing Google Glass that means that one of the students has sent a message. The teacher is then able to read the message through Google Glass and reply to the student by a voice message.

During this project, both students and the teacher expressed that the communication between students and teacher has been facilitated, improved and decreased waiting time through the integration of tablets and Google Glass.

The students described that It feels good not to leave the patient alone when they need help from the teacher, they got help faster than before and specifically they got in contact with the teacher faster since the teacher is able to reply to the students messages directly from Google Glass regardless of where in the clinic the teacher is. The students know when they can expect help from the teachers replay and can start with something else meanwhile waiting for help. The students also used Hangout to send images to the teacher. In some cases, when looking at an image a student has sent, the teacher replayed from Glass and didn’t need to go to the booth. The teacher could instead go to another student that needed her help more.

The teacher in this project pointed out that it is possible to, for the first time, prioritize which student need help first due to the content of the messages sent via the mobile device to Google Glass. Before, when only the booth number was written on the white board and not what kind of help the student needed, it was not possible for the teacher to make a priority. The teacher also said when helping a student it is possible to know if there are another student waiting for help or at least want to be in contact with the teacher since a notification of a sound is given when a message is sent. Sometimes when the teacher needed to treat a patient herself and of course need her both hand, she could replay to another student that was asking for help through the voice-controlled Google Glass.

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