Google Glass is facing some challenges in terms of public perception and an ongoing debate about its role in the public forum, but it has some potential in specific realms that could be very exciting, apart from its ability to be a huge consumer success. One such application is in medicine, and startup Augmedix just raised $3.2 million to help show how Glass can be useful to doctors.
The round from DCM and Emergence Capital Partners will help Augmedix hire new talent and then expand its user base from its initial few pilot studies. The company, founded by Stanford Biodesign program alums Ian Shakil and Pelu Tran, is one of the first companies to receive sizeable early funding based on a product aimed specifically at Google Glass, which hints at the potential for wearable tech in specific verticals.
Augmedix has been working on its platform since 2012, and has created a system whereby electronic health records are pushed directly to a doctor’s Glass device, where they can be queried using voice commands for easy retrieval of key patient information. This saves time spent recalling and browsing EHR records on a computer, something Shakil refers to as “feeding the beast.” That can occupy as much as one-third of a doctor’s day, according to Augmedix, which is all time they could be spending visiting with patients.
Of course, with Glass and EHR, there’s bound to be anxiety around patient privacy, but Augmedix says that it’s seeing “resoundingly high” acceptance of the system – which is opt-in – among patients across the country, in both urban and rural areas. It’s possible that the key to comfort with Glass is seeing it used by trusted professionals, like the doctors patients are used to entrusting with their personal health on a regular basis.