Vuzix Smart Glasses for Telemedicine: Interview with Paul Travers, Vuzix CEO

Vuzix, a smart glasses developer and augmented reality technology supplier based in Rochester, NY, has partnered with VSee, a telemedicine provider from California, to create a smart glasses telemedicine solution for the Vuzix M300XL and Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses.

Smart glasses have a variety of uses in telemedicine, and can not only reduce or eliminate travel time but also help to bring healthcare to rural and remote regions. Uses for smart glasses in medicine include training to give students a uniquely personal perspective. This may include streaming video of surgery to multiple locations and displays at the same time.

Nurse practitioners or physician assistants could use smart glasses to care for patients and instantly connect to a doctor that is onsite or located at an offsite location. Smart glasses can also connect to a number of monitoring devices via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, allowing doctors to perform an ultrasound or monitor a patient without the need for an on-site physician. The data can simply be relayed to the display of the smart glasses.

For first responders, using smart glasses connected to a network would enable them to immediately access hospital triage experts to help save lives with a simple click to initiate a video phone call. The mounted camera offers a unique first-person perspective and the glasses are more convenient and portable than cumbersome video equipment. With the potential to live-stream a video feed wirelessly, the glasses have already proved useful for a variety of applications. This includes providing live experiences for low-mobility patients.

Vuzix have expanded their telemedicine capabilities through their latest partnership with VSee, who already provide a telemedicine conferencing service that is used by over 1000 telemedicine companies. VSee also provides the video conferencing technology for the International Space Station, and were chosen for this task in part because of their track record in dealing with poor network conditions, something that will undoubtedly be useful for telemedicine in remote or low-resource areas.

See a commercial video demonstrating some of the features of the Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses:

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 Medgadget had the opportunity to ask Paul Travers, Vuzix CEO, some questions about the technology and partnership.

 

Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please give us an overview of the Vuzix Smart Glass offerings.

Paul Travers, Vuzix: Our current products include the M300, M300XL and M400 Smart Glasses (M series). The M300 and M300XL products are our monocular smart glasses designed for enterprise, industrial, commercial and medical markets. These products include an Android-based wearable computer, enhanced with a wearable monocular display and wireless connectivity capabilities. These Smart Glasses serve up the digital world “hands-free,” offering access to information, data collection and more. This line from Vuzix are best used for push notifications and “information snacking.” Integrated head tracking, a camera, touchpad, buttons and speech recognition gives versatility to navigate and use these M-series Smart Glasses in almost any working environment. The M series Smart Glasses provide enhancements to existing workflows and open new opportunities in industrial, medical, retail, supply chain, remote help desk, and many more aspects of these industries.

In February of this year we announced at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow a prototype of our M400 Smart Glasses based on the new Qualcomm XR1 platform and which runs on the latest Android OS. We expect this new version of our product line to be shipping this fall.

Finally, Vuzix introduced the Blade Smart Sunglasses at CES 2018. The Vuzix Blade™ is the natural evolution of AR glasses, providing the user with a wide range of features and capabilities in a natural glasses form factor that we believe people will want to wear. Delivered visually, and through see-thru waveguide optics, right in front of the user, the experience is much like the HUD in a fighter pilot’s cockpit, but in a pair of sunglasses. Current applications range from basic text messaging and answering the phone to overlaying mapping directions, menus, weather, events, stock quotes, video conferencing, sports updates, social feeds, bio-metrics and much more. The intuitive and feature packed Vuzix Blade OS allows the user to simply and intuitively navigate via simple swipes and taps, or leverage voice controls and external AI systems. This allows users to leave their phones in their pockets for most functions and adds the ability to connect the information being presented to the real world, including that from cloud-based speech AI platforms such as Amazon Alexa. VSee’s software is also planned to be enabled on the Blade platform.

 

Medgadget: Please talk about the growing telemedicine sector and the advantages the technology brings for patients and clinicians.

Paul Travers: Smart Glasses are head worn devices and by definition this allows the user to be hands free. There is a myriad of reasons why hands free is a better solution when working in the medical field. Just as with other mobile workers, medical workers need to be able to use their hands to get a job done. Holding a phone or tablet does not facilitate that. Also, a head mounted display can put the information you need directly in your line of sight, as opposed to a laptop sitting on a desk. There are many advantages to this form of content delivery and collection.

The other advantage to a wearable display is that information can be collected and viewed while still staying engaged with the patient. Laptop tablet and smart phones disconnect that patient doctor connection.

Medgadget: How will Smart Glasses help in specific telemedicine applications, such as training clinicians?

Paul Travers: Using see-what-I-see applications, work instructions and other applications in Vsee’s software suite, there are ROIs being seen from including improved safety, reducing training time, improving response time, reducing errors and much more.

 

Medgadget: Why did you decide to partner with VSee? What advantages does the partnership provide?

Paul Travers: Vuzix is great at delivering some of the best wearable display technology on the planet. Our devices really go to work when the best applications are run on them. We work with content providers that offer the software solutions to make that happen. VSee is a premier supplier of health care reality applications that run on mobile platforms and they are a perfect fit for our Smart Glasses. Between us, it is a win-win partnership.

 

Medgadget: Are Vuzix Smart Glasses currently available for telemedicine applications? How have they been received in this context?

Paul Travers: Telemedicine is a new market for Vuzix devices. But we are working with several companies in this space. 1 Minuut in Europe is a good example.

Link: Vuzix and VSee