Dr. Shafi Ahmed, a teaching surgeon in the UK live streamed hernia repair surgery using Snapchat spectacles. Though the procedure is a routine one but there is no nothing ordinary about the operation as the British surgeon completed the procedure while wearing Snapchat’s Spectacles.
For all those that’s been living under a rock, Snapchat’s Spectacles is a pair of sunglasses that has a fitted camera that can record 10 seconds clips for later uploading it to Snapchat.
Disclaimer: This video is not for the squeamish and faint of heart people
Mr. Ahmed used his own Snapchat account and provided floor seats for all the students who wanted to learn from his unique points on the operation. He shared a series of video clips that put together forms a tutorial for the medical students. While clips were live streamed to students over Snapchat, the full surgery has been posted to YouTube.
This is not the first time the teaching surgeon has infused technology with the education. He is known for making his operation accessible to students all around the world who can see the procedure and can even interact by asking questions. In April, Mr. Ahmed used a 360-degree camera to live stream a cancer surgery to the medical students which was watched by around 55,000 people in 180 countries. Previously, he had also used Google Glass for the same purpose.
Many students have deemed his efforts a praiseworthy as they can hardly get the same access whilst being in the operation theater. Many say that they cannot get a better view because of people present at the operation theater but in this way they can see the procedure clearly.
While talking to BBC Mr. Ahmed said that the spectacles presented a unique opportunity because of the platform they offered for teaching. He further added:
“I’m always looking for ways to develop my teaching, especially using wearable technology. When I saw the Snap spectacles, I asked friends in New York to buy some and send them to me immediately. We have inequalities in medical education in different countries – I’m looking for ways we can use cutting-edge technology in relatively low-cost gadgets to teach people everywhere.”
The doctor described that the challenge of the Snapchat Spectacles was the tinted lenses as they are designed to be used as sunglasses. He said:
“We rigorously tested them beforehand to see what the view was like and whether they impinged my view at all. It was a superficial operation and the glasses didn’t restrict me.”
With the plans to use the spectacles for teaching, the US company is set to replace the lenses with the clear glass.