MORE than 13,000 people around the globe have watched a British patient’s cancer being removed in real time by a
surgeon wearing Google Glass.
Shafi Ahmed became the first surgeon in the UK to live stream an operation across the world and it’s thought the technology could transform the training of future medics.
Google Glass is like a wearable computer, with an optical head-mounted display. The voice-activated technology can record video or take still images of what the wearer is seeing, as well as allow them to bring up information that they can see through the glass lens.
Wearing the glasses meant viewers could log on to see through Mr Ahmed’s eyes as he removed cancerous tissue from the liver and bowel of a 78-year-old man at the Royal London Hospital. While many of the 13,000 people from 115 countries who tuned in were medical students, anyone could have watched the operation on a website called livestream.
Mr Ahmed is colorectal cancer lead at Barts Health NHS Trust and associate dean at Queen Mary University of London, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. As he performed the surgery, students could contact him directly to ask questions. Their queries appeared on the bottom left-hand side of the Google Glass worn by the surgeon, who answered them verbally. His responses were transmitted via the online feed.
Mr Ahmed said: “We are transporting future surgeons directly into the operating theatre.”
Patient Roy Pulfer, from Chadwell St Mary, Essex, said: “I’m happy that it will help educate young people.”