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Prospective, randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effect of smart glasses on vestibular examination skills
  1. Maura D Iversen1,2,3,
  2. Sheri Kiami1,
  3. Karandeep Singh4,
  4. Italo Masiello5,
  5. Johan von Heideken1,3
  1. 1Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Section of Clinical Sciences Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  4. 4Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  5. 5Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Professor Maura Daly Iversen, Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA; M.Iversen{at}


This proof-of-concept trial explored whether using Google Glass to augment instruction of vestibular assessment and treatment skills increased student competence. In 2015, 103 physiotherapy students with no prior vestibular examination training participated in a lab for adults with vestibular dysfunction led by experienced clinicians. Half were randomised (blocked on gender and self-efficacy) to standard lab instruction and half to the experiential lab wherein the instructor used the Google Glass video function in real time, along with verbal instruction. Students completed a pretest questionnaire to establish self-reported skill level in vestibular dysfunction assessment and treatment. Another faculty member assessed students' competence in these clinical skills after 7 days. A student evaluation of teaching was completed after the teaching session. No between-group differences existed regarding change in self-efficacy scores for vestibular assessment and treatment skills preintervention and postintervention. Students in the Google Glass group scored slightly better on the clinical skills check (median score of 19 (range 16–20) versus 18 (range 16–20); p=0.03). 40 students (77%) in the Google Glass group performed the assessment satisfactorily versus 30 (59%) (p=0.049) in the standard lab group. The majority of students evaluated the video quality as unacceptable. This novel study demonstrated that using Google Glass to live stream vestibular assessment and treatment techniques in first-person view had a significant but small impact on acquisition of these clinical skills.

  • mHealth
  • Assistive Technology
  • Inventions

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