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Glass Diagnostics

It appears that there may be uses for Google Glass beyond wearing them to attract mates and to make everyone not wearing them feel like outsiders.

In what amounts to a teaser for how Glass and similar tools may one day be used in medicine, an inventive group of UCLA scientists have worked up an app that uses the space-age specs to make it much faster and easier to get the results of medical diagnostic tests.

The application reads dozens of types of lateral flow diagnostic tests for malaria, prostate cancer, and HIV, among others, and could be adapted for any number of other tests, and it uploads the results to secure servers and provides anonymous data to epidemiologists.

The project, headed by UCLA's Aydogan Ozcan, enables Glass wearers to capture photos of rapid diagnostic test results, upload them in about 8 seconds, and receive analyses that are more accurate than the human eye can provide.

Ozcan demonstrates how the new app works, and how fast it is, in a video posted by the American Chemical Society, which also published his team's research paper detailing the project.

"The Glass is capturing an image of this [test strip]. It is captured now, and it is sending the image to a server through Wi-Fi. That server, within just a few seconds will process the image for this rapid diagnostic test, and will send me an image card [which reads] that the test is valid. It has ten parts-per-billion PSA concentration, and some other information that you can customize, depending on the test you have."

The test results also can be synched up with a patient's electronic medical records.