Google Glass App could diagnose, track spread of disease
What if you could diagnose test results instantly for a variety of health conditions? Well, a new Google Glass application from a team at the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science believes they can do it.
The researchers have developed an app that will allow users to perform instant testing and track the spread of disease. They hope their efforts can be a step to fighting public health threats across the globe.
Google Glass wearers can use the new technology to capture images of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) strips (small strips on which blood or fluid samples are placed or other commonly available in-home tests.) The images are then uploaded to a server platform which will return analyses in as little as eight seconds, with accuracy beyond what the human eye alone can detect.
The server and a corresponding web portal can display results, store the cumulative test data over time and map the geographical spread of various diseases and conditions. According to the researchers, this could improve the tracking of diseases and expand responses to disaster-relief areas or quarantine zones where medical tools are often not available.
“It’s very important to detect emerging public health threats early, before an epidemic arises and many lives are lost,” said lead investigator Aydogan Ozcan in a statement. “With our app for Google Glass and our remote computing and data analysis power, we can deliver a one-two punch — provide quantified biomedical test results for individual patients, plus analyze all those data to determine whether an outbreak is imminent.”
According to a statement from UCLA, the team has tested more than 400 images, with an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent.
“This breakthrough technology takes advantage of gains in both immunochromatographic rapid diagnostic tests and wearable computers,” said Ozcan, adding that the app “allows for real-time tracking of health conditions and could be quite valuable in epidemiology, mobile health and telemedicine.”
Google Glass is currently only available to a limited market through Google’s Glass Explorer Program. The product is rumored to be open to the public by the end of the year.
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Wow — such an amazing use for Google Glass!