Health IT

With Augmedix-Dignity Health deal, has Google Glass gone mainstream?

Augmedix announced a deal this week with Dignity Health, a California-based company that manages hospitals in 17 states. The Dignity deal will boost its primary care user base in a big way.

The healthcare startup that developed a Google Glass platform to speed up physician workflows also raised an additional $4.1 million from investors. The fresh capital brings Augmedix’s fundraising efforts to $7.3 million. The funding will help scale up its business using Google Glass to enter and retrieve information from patients’ electronic health records.

Venture capital investors DCM and Emergence Capital Investors, who have invested in the company previously, led the financing round. Each gained a board seat.

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Augmedix also became one of five companies to receive Glass at Work certification from Google.

The idea is that Augmedix’s platform will speed up the rate that patient information can be entered in EHRs and physicians will be able to use their time with patients more efficiently. But in a phone interview with MedCity News, Augmedix CEO Ian Shakill said he sees plenty of applications beyond pushing and pulling information around EHRs. Augmedix is developing ways to use Google Glass at the point of care. “Going forward, we want to offer guidance on demand and insights at the point of care,” Shakill said. As an example, he said the system could remind physicians if they missed an important step in their checklist.

It could also help primary care physicians in rural settings communicate with specialists on a consult for additional guidance on treating patients.

Its Google Glass platform has also added specialist physicians to its customer base across orthopedics and dermatology. Among the specialties it is looking to expand into are clinic-based cardiology and clinic-based rheumatology. Apart from Dignity, Augmedix is used across nine provider groups around the country, big and small, according to Shakill.

Although Google Glass critics see the technology as overhyped, Augmedix’s deal with Dignity shows that the technology is gaining an increasingly receptive audience in healthcare as physicians become more comfortable using it.

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