Appl Clin Inform 2016; 07(04): 946-953
DOI: 10.4338/ACI-2016-06-LE-0094
Letter to the Editor
Schattauer GmbH

Patient Perceptions of Wearable Face-Mounted Computing Technology and the Effect on the DoctorPatient Relationship

Micah T. Prochaska
1  Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
,
Valerie G. Press
1  Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
,
David O. Meltzer
1  Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
,
Vineet M. Arora
1  Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
› Author Affiliations
Funding Dr. Prochaska received funding the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (K12 Patient Centered Outcome Research Award). Dr. Press received funding from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NIH K23HL1181510). Dr. Meltzer received funding from the National Institute of Aging (K24 AG031326–01) and from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (2UL1TR000430–06).
Further Information

Correspondence to:

Micah T. Prochaska, MD, MS
University of Chicago
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
MC 5000
Chicago
IL 60637
Phone: 773-702-6988   
Fax: 773-795-7398

Publication History

received: 14 June 2016

accepted: 26 August 2016

Publication Date:
18 December 2017 (online)

 

Summary

Background Wearable face-mounted computers such as Google Glass, Microsoft HoloLens, and Oculus’ Rift®, are increasingly being tested in hospital care. These devices challenge social etiquette, raise privacy issues, and may disrupt the intimacy of the doctor patient relationship. We aimed to determine patients’ perception of and their privacy concerns with an archetype of wearable face-mounted computer devices, Google Glass.

Methods Hospitalized inpatients were asked about their familiarity with Glass, how comfortable they would be and if they would be concerned about privacy if their physician wore Glass, if the use of Glass would affect their trust in their physician, and if they would want their physician to wear Glass if it improved their care.

Results Most (73%) respondents were unfamiliar with Glass, though 64% would be comfortable if their doctor wore Glass. Under half (46%) of respondents were concerned about privacy with the use of Glass. Seventy-six percent (76%) of respondents stated their doctor wearing Glass would not affect their trust in their doctor. Patients concerned about their privacy were less likely to trust their doctor if their doctor wore Glass (17% vs. 0%, p<0.01). Sixty-five percent (65%) of respondents would want their doctor to wear Glass if it improved their care.

Conclusion Most patients appear open to and would want their doctor to use face-mounted wearable computers such as Glass, even when unfamiliar with this technology. While some patients expressed concerns about privacy, patients were much less concerned about wearable technologies affecting the trust they have in their physician.

Citation: Prochaska MT, Press VG, Meltzer DO, Arora VM. Patient perceptions of wearable face-mounted computing technology and the effect on the doctor-patient relationship.


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Conflict of Interest

None of the authors have any conflicts of interests, including financial interests, activities, relationships or affiliations.


Correspondence to:

Micah T. Prochaska, MD, MS
University of Chicago
5841 S. Maryland Avenue
MC 5000
Chicago
IL 60637
Phone: 773-702-6988   
Fax: 773-795-7398