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Video-Based Self-Review

Comparing Google Glass and GoPro Technologies

Paro, John A.M. MD; Nazareli, Rahim MD; Gurjala, Anadev MD; Berger, Aaron MD, PhD; Lee, Gordon K. MD

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000423
Research Articles
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Introduction Professionals in a variety of specialties use video-based review as a method of constant self-evaluation. We believe critical self-reflection will allow a surgical trainee to identify methods for improvement throughout residency and beyond. We have used 2 new popular technologies to evaluate their role in accomplishing the previously mentioned objectives.

Methods Our group investigated Google Glass and GoPro cameras. Medical students, residents, and faculty were invited to wear each of the devices during a scheduled operation. After the case, each participant was asked to comment on a number of features of the device including comfort, level of distraction/interference with operating, ease of video acquisition, and battery life. Software and hardware specifications were compiled and compared by the authors. A “proof-of-concept” was also performed using the video-conferencing abilities of Google Glass to perform a simulated flap check.

Results The technical specifications of the 2 cameras favor GoPro over Google Glass. Glass records in 720p with 5-MP still shots, and the GoPro records in 1080p with 12-MP still shots. Our tests of battery life showed more than 2 hours of continuous video with GoPro, and less than 1 hour for Glass. Favorable features of Google Glass included comfort and relative ease of use; they could not comfortably wear loupes while operating, and would have preferred longer hands-free video recording. The GoPro was slightly more cumbersome and required a nonsterile team member to activate all pictures or video; however, loupes could be worn. Google Glass was successfully used in the hospital for a simulated flap check, with overall audio and video being transmitted—fine detail was lost, however.

Conclusions There are benefits and limitations to each of the devices tested. Google Glass is in its infancy and may gain a larger intraoperative role in the future. We plan to use Glass as a way for trainees to easily acquire intraoperative footage as a means to “review tape” and will use the GoPro to amass a video library of commonly performed operations.

From the Division of Plastic Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Received July 7, 2014, and accepted for publication, after revision, November 14, 2014.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

This work was supported by a Plastic Surgery Foundation grant.

Reprints: John A.M. Paro, MD, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center, 770 Welch Rd, Suite 400, Palo Alto, CA 94304. E-mail: jparo@stanford.edu.

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