Sneak Peek: Recording Medical Students’ Encounters with Standardized Patients Using Google Glass: Providing End-of-Life Clinical Education

Here’s a preview of a soon-to-be-published innovation report by Jeffery Tully and colleagues.

Recording Medical Students’ Encounters with Standardized Patients Using Google Glass: Providing End-of-Life Clinical Education

Jeffrey Tully, MD, Christian Dameff, MD, Susan Kaib, MD, and Maricela Moffitt, MD, MPH


Medical education today frequently includes standardized patient (SP) encounters to teach history-taking, physical exam, and communication skills. However, traditional wall-mounted cameras, used to record video for faculty and student feedback and evaluation, provide a limited view of key nonverbal communication behaviors during clinical encounters.

In 2013, 30 second-year medical students participated in an end-of-life module that included SP encounters in which the SPs used Google Glass to record their first-person perspective. Students reviewed the Google Glass video and traditional videos then completed a post-encounter, self-evaluation survey and a follow-up survey about the experience.

Google Glass was used successfully to record 30 student/SP encounters. One temporary Google Glass hardware failure was observed. Of the 30 students, 7 (23%) reported a “positive, non-distracting experience”; 11 (37%) a “positive, initially distracting experience”; 5 (17%) a “neutral experience”; 3 (10%) a “negative experience”; and 4 (13%) opted to withhold judgment until they reviewed the videos but reported Google Glass as “distracting.” According to follow-up survey responses, 16 students (of 23; 70%) found Google Glass “worth including in the [clinical skills program]” while 7 (30%) did not.

Next Steps
Google Glass can be used to video record students during SP encounters and provides a novel perspective for the analysis and evaluation of their interpersonal communication skills and nonverbal behaviors. Next steps include a larger, more rigorous comparison of Google Glass versus traditional videos and expanded use of this technology in other aspects of the clinical skills training program.

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