Powering the Dentists of Tomorrow with Smart Glasses

Protecting and educating the next generation of dentists

The economic crater left by COVID-19 continues to deepen. While some business sectors are hit harder than others, the devastation is not limited to the present. The aftershock is expected to have a lasting impact that extends to the future workforce.

There is no greater example than in dentistry. Oral health professionals are considered one of the most at risk groups, with a dangerously high likelihood of virus exposure. As a result, dentistry schools are unable to operate as they once could. While experienced dentists, orthodontists, and dental hygienists are deemed essential workers, those still in school no longer have hands-on training opportunities.

READ: Surgeons Operate on Patients with the help of AR Smart Glasses

While other curriculums have seamlessly switched to remote education, dentistry requires intensive clinical experiences. Face-to-face training with actual patients is an essential part of the learning process that can’t be replicated by a laptop or smartphone. Smart Glasses offer the next-best alternative.

Yet, adversity has a way of breeding innovation.

In response to the challenges wrought by the pandemic, the Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry has enlisted the help of Vuzix M400™ Smart Glasses.

Dentistry students at Istanbul University are being trained remotely with Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses.
Credit: PR Newswire

Remote education in dentistry

The faculty’s experiment allows instructors to broadcast lessons to students through the Smart Glasses’ camera. Learners can see exactly what their teacher sees. All that’s required is WiFi.

An instructor’s hands are completely freed up as they operate in real-time. The technology comes with a number of benefits:

Freeze frame:

At any point during a procedure, students can capture pictures from their instructor’s field-of-view. Then, they can mark-up and highlight certain aspects of a patient’s mouth and send them back to their teacher.

Save recordings:

Past lessons can be saved and viewed later. Whether a student misses class or needs to brush up on a technique, there’s endless footage to choose from.

Become the teacher:

Once students return to the classroom, instructors can walk them through procedures. Using their voice, they can provide real-time guidance without actually being in the room. Additionally, they can capture pictures and highlight areas of the patient’s mouth for the student’s benefit.

Already highly effective, the M400’s capabilities are only going to improve. Software is being developed that is specific to industries and jobs.

The more this technology is leaned on by post-secondary faculties, the more it’ll be used in the post-COVID world. Although the current priority is protecting instructors, students and patients, remote teaching could allow an expert located in Dubai to walk a newbie located in Washington, DC through a root canal.

Dentistry is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the COVID-19 era. With remote training, Vuzix Smart Glasses eliminate a student’s exposure to the virus.
Image credit: Dental Tribune

Navigating the knowledge gulf

Case studies like the one offered by Istanbul University are part of a growing trend. There is a growing need for healthcare professionals to provide telemedicine services to the public. Be it in the operating room or neighborhood family practice, Smart Glasses offer a safe, reliable solution.

The 2020 pandemic has given the technology a boost, as industries work their way around social distancing protocols. Although the hardware’s immediate function is limiting the virus’ spread, it’s global deployment has proven just how cost-effective the technology can be.

Additionally, it’s eliminated the need to fly knowledge experts from site to site. Be it engineering or medicine, Vuzix Smart Glasses allow experts to walk fellow professionals through complex procedures.

The students of Istanbul University Faculty of Dentistry owe their continued education to Vuzix M400 Smart Glasses.

Some other ways the technology has allowed businesses to survive and thrive during the COVID era:

“Vuzix” is a registered trademark of Vuzix Corporation