I’ve said it time and time again over the last couple of years, but maybe this will make you finally believe it. Glass isn’t dead, and as I told you across across several exclusive reports last year, there’s even new hardware being field tested right now.
To further prove this morning that Google’s troubled head-mounted display device isn’t done yet, Glass for Work startup Augmedix — which deploys wearable solutions for healthcare systems and hospitals — announced that it has raised $17 million in funding from five leading healthcare systems across the U.S. And CrowdOptic has announced that it has now surpassed 10,000 Glass livestreams…
Augmedix deploys solutions using a variety of hardware, but the startup is known for being one of the most loyal to Google’s platform of the bunch. Other Glass for Work startups like APX Labs and CrowdOptic still primarily use Glass, but have been a bit more adventurous in diversifying their options (APX, for example, while it tested Google Glass in the past, is deploying Vuzix hardware at Tesla).
Basically, Augmedix provides an electronic medical record platform based on Glass, which allows doctors to access “forms, health history, lab orders, prescriptions and more” using the wearable. The service is powered mainly by voice commands much like other Glass applications that you may be familiar with. Augmedix says that its system “humanizes” healthcare, allowing doctors to focus on their patients rather than having to be stuck behind a computer screen.
To get an idea of what this experience looks like, check out the video below.
The five healthcare systems that are investing in Augmedix make up “over 100,000 healthcare providers who treat millions of patients nationwide,” according to the company. Augmedix itself, however (as of today), serves “hundreds” of primary care doctors with Glass-based solutions, including “specialists and surgeons” who see “approximately 5000 patients a day.” In total, Augmedix has grown over the last few years to now employ a total of 400 employees, and has now received $40 million in venture funding.
So what about that new Enterprise Edition hardware? In a quick talk with Re/code, Augmedix confirmed that they are in “field tests” with other “next-gen” versions of Glass. As far as I’m aware, the only next-gen version of Glass is Enterprise Edition, which we saw in the flesh for the first time as it passed through the FCC late last year. Just last month, the new hardware popped up on eBay for the first time and was bid up to more than $10,000 before Google claimed its lost property.
Besides Augmedix’ continued success, CrowdOptic — another Glass for Work startup, in this case one that primarily provides video streaming services — has also announced this week that it has reached some milestones. The company just announced the successful completion of its 10,000th livestream using Google Glass for “enterprise use cases,” a number further cementing the device as key to the company’s ongoing success.
We’ve reported on CrowdOptic before. Just last month the company launched its own hardware (the first Glass at Work startup to do so) to compliment its “CrowdOptic in a box” streaming solution. The company has installed its software in dozens of U.S. hospitals including Stanford and UCSF, bringing HIPAA compliant hands-free video streaming. In July of last year, CrowdOptic’s software brought Google Glass live video broadcasts to ProTransport-1 ambulances, which sends a video feed to the destination hospital during emergency response. The company also has clients in sports, including the Denver Broncos, which streamed during Super Bowl 50.
CrowdOptic also announced recently that it has renewed many annual software licenses for its major clients including one mystery “world’s largest” medical device company, as well as UCSF Medical Center, the Denver Broncos, and Futton, Inc. The company says that these four clients represent somewhere in the realm of $1.5 million in contract bookings to date for CrowdOptic.
So, yes, Google doesn’t have any intention to push Glass for the consumer space anymore. We’ve known that for a while. But if you think that Google is done with the platform completely, then you’re wrong. As many of us have known since even the earliest days of Glass, Google is keeping its eyes set on the enterprise as the niche-but-obvious use case for the device. And the space is growing as fast as ever.