25 April 2016, USA :
Augmedix, which develops Google Glass technology to help reduce the time physicians spend on documentation, has raised $17 million in strategic investments from some of its largest healthcare customers. Three of the other investors are San Francisco’s Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives in Colorado and Cincinnati-based TriHealth Inc. Officials said the fourth investor wishes to remain anonymous.
Augmedix is building clinical applications for Google Glass. The startup is working with doctors across the country to introduce them to Glass, which is available to select developers for some $1,200.
For medical professionals, the benefits of these futuristic specs are fairly obvious: The device is nearly hands-free, so it’s easy to use it unobtrusively during an in-person meeting, and physicians can easily access more information about a new drug or the patient’s medical history. Doctors can also use the device to take photos or record video footage of a surgery or consultation.
“As we strive to create the high-quality, high-value healthcare experience our patients expect from Sutter Health, new technology tools and services allow us to innovate in ways that deliver a more efficient, affordable and personalized level of care,” said Dr. Albert Chan, Sutter Health’s vice president, chief of digital patient experience, also in a statement. “Wearable technology holds tremendous promise, especially for enhancing the office visit experience. We are committed to partnering with our patients, and value how our growing network of digital health innovators helps strengthen those patient-doctor relationships in new ways.”
Ian Shakil, CEO of the San Francisco-based startup, told press, “I don’t want this to be perceived as some kind of boring funding announcement. It’s something very different. They’re literally putting their money where their mouth is.”
Google Glass frees doctors from hours of mandated charting and documentation, enabling them to spend more face-to-face time with patients. Augmedix claims the technology can reduce a typical physician’s charting time by three hours per day.
Google Glass, introduced in the U.S. in February 2013, is essentially computer-embedded eyewear, giving the user hands-free access to a wide range of data.
Image : augmedix