London - British surgeons are operating on patients while wearing computerised Google glasses to record their skills.

Doctors use the headsets to broadcast footage to medical students and junior doctors.

The project, at Torbay Hospital in Devon, is said to have huge potential for medical education.

Google Glass, which is a computer with an optical head-mounted display, contains a camera that can record whatever the wearer is seeing.

The footage can be sent live to a computer, allowing audiences to see the procedure from the point of view of the wearer.

It was first used in the operating theatre by David Isaac, an orthopaedic surgeon, and has since been used in a variety of procedures, including ear, nose and throat operations.

All those who are filmed for the teaching project give their written consent first. Dr George Brighton, app inventor at the hospital, acquired a Google Glass last November, before its likely launch in the UK next year.

“The device is effectively a smartphone, head-mounted video camera and computer rolled into one,” he said. “What’s exciting for medical education is that it allows surgeons to record and share their direct view of the surgical field.

“This gives huge potential for mentoring and conferencing.

“If, for example, you were performing a rare or complex procedure, you could seek the advice of experts anywhere across the globe whilst operating.

“Or procedures could be streamed to lecture theatres full of students, giving them virtually the full field of vision the surgeon sees.”

Surgeons are currently exploring a number of technical challenges, such as perfecting the lighting and the angle of filming to ensure any footage is a useful learning tool. - Daily Mail