Peter Mac medical specialists are piloting augmented reality technology to navigate distance and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google Glass technology has been successfully implemented by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Radiation Therapy Department, to connect with international experts and also continue working while staff are in precautionary self-isolation.

The Google Glass allows a specialist to see exactly what is happening from the perspective of those in the treatment room, while onsite staff wear a futuristic headset with a holographic eye piece.

Medical Radiation Practitioner and project lead Dr Daniel Sapkaroski says the pilot demonstrated the usefulness of this technology - which gives a remote worker a first-person view of what the Google Glass wearer can see - in hospital settings.

A Google Glass headset
A Google Glass headset

“During Melbourne’s most recent lockdown, one of our team was at home in precautionary self-isolation,” Dr Sapkaroski says.

“The Google Glass technology meant they could connect with engineers from an international company, and work closely with the Peter Mac team onsite, as new equipment was installed and tested.”

The approach meant the staff member could remain engaged with the installation of the new treatment technologies – and that the equipment was installed on-time with no disruptions to patients.

From left: Charge Radiation therapist Jotham Bonett with Dr Daniel Sapkaroski

This has allowed for world leading cancer care during the challenges of COVID-19, and assisted with the installation of new technology like Peter Mac’s new Gamma Knife.

The hands-free nature of the tech also reduces the need for healthcare professionals to touch devices while caring for a patient or adjusting equipment.

The Peter Mac project team is now looking to maximise the use of the technology across the centre in critical care and allied health, and as a new way to provide remote medical education to staff and students.

Dr Sapkaroski said the Google Glass pilot was successful because of a large team effort, including behind the scenes work from Hindsite Industries and Google Meets, to ensure the technology offers a completely secure process that protects patient information.

For more information contact the Peter Mac Communications team on 0417 123 048.