‘Smart glasses’ will allow doctors to direct war zone surgery from thousands of miles away


Categories: Article, DFID, News Release, Technology

Originally published in the Daily Mail UK on 27 December 2018 – Doctors will be able to help with operations in war zones from thousands of miles away by looking on through a pair of smart glasses. The futuristic glasses, funded by UK aid money, will enable local health workers or even the untrained to benefit from real-time guidance from experts.

Iristick Smart Glasses Surgeons and other medical experts will be able to supervise procedures through a camera built into the glasses.

‘A few decades ago these smart glasses would have been science fiction,’ said International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

‘Now, because of UK aid, they are on the cusp of saving real lives in the real world.’ Among the glasses’ many features is a zoom in and out function which can be used by the remote doctor.

Steven Serneels, co-founder of Iristick, which developed the glasses, said: ‘Distance does not count anymore. As long as you have access to the internet, these glasses work. It’s a real time experience.

‘People that are not supported by remote experts can stream movies which guide them with what they are doing.’

The Department for International Development has given the Iristick project around £250,000 to develop the glasses. The funding was part of a challenge to firms to come up with innovative projects to address humanitarian challenges.

Miss Mordaunt added: ‘UK aid is changing millions of lives around the world for the better, and I want to harness the power of technology to do this even faster and more efficiently.’ Iristick suggested the cost of the glasses would be roughly £1,500 each. They will be tested in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Afghanistan.