The Use of Smart Glasses for Surgical Video Streaming
Observation of surgical procedures performed by experts is extremely important for acquisition and improvement of surgical skills. Smart glasses are small computers, which comprise a head-mounted monitor and video camera, and can be connected to the internet. They can be used for remote observation of surgeries by video streaming. Although Google Glass is the most commonly used smart glasses for medical purposes, it is still unavailable commercially and has some limitations. This article reports the use of a different type of smart glasses, InfoLinker, for surgical video streaming. InfoLinker has been commercially available in Japan for industrial purposes for more than 2 years. It is connected to a video server via wireless internet directly, and streaming video can be seen anywhere an internet connection is available. We have attempted live video streaming of knee arthroplasty operations that were viewed at several different locations, including foreign countries, on a common web browser. Although the quality of video images depended on the resolution and dynamic range of the video camera, speed of internet connection, and the wearer’s attention to minimize image shaking, video streaming could be easily performed throughout the procedure. The wearer could confirm the quality of the video as the video was being shot by the head-mounted display. The time and cost for observation of surgical procedures can be reduced by InfoLinker, and further improvement of hardware as well as the wearer’s video shooting technique is expected. We believe that this can be used in other medical settings.