It amazes me how many people write about an app like MedRef without ever telling you anything new about using it. Realizing that MedRef did more than the typical transport of data, I did a bit of research trying to find out what other people experienced while using the app. All I found was the typical cant about privacy and Big Brother. Enough of that nonsense! Here’s the real scoop about MedRef.
First, the facial recognition is done through a web service called betafaceapi.com. Lance Nanek discusses the code he uses on his blog, NeatoCode Techniques. His code is open source on GitHub and the link to it is available from his blog.
Since most of the hype regarding MedRef stems from its use of facial recognition, you may be more interested in this next post where I discuss my experiences with Betafaceapi and how you can check it out for yourself without Glass.
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MedRef is designed as a way to organize and access medical records. It does some neat things I haven’t seen before, like the “Pin” feature:
Pinning MedRef places the MedRef “card” just to the left of the home screen so it is always easy to access.
When you tap the MedRef card, it gives you this option:
You can create a patient by tapping this card and then saying the patient’s name aloud. I created a patient named “Audrey”, which made a card for Audrey to the right of my home screen. By tapping Audrey’s card, I got this option to add a note:
Another tap gives you the opportunity to record a note. I said the words “test note” (not especially creative, I know) and that turned Audrey’s card to a bundle that looks like this:
Tapping the bundle allowed me to access the note which looked like this:
So that all works well. After several attempts, I still have not figured out how to link a photo with the file. It isn’t explained in the blog OR the video since the patient’s file with photo is already set up before the video demo takes place. I’ve tried sharing a photo with both of these cards:
The only response I’ve received was this one:
From watching the video, I suspect that the app would only try to match a photo with photos in a patient file, which would not work if there are no photos in the patient file. That’s only a theory, and this app seems more like a proof of concept than a finished product.
So I went to Betafaceapi to see what they had going on in the facial recognition department. You can read more about that here.
As far as MedRef goes, I think it has a lot of potential, and it’s great to see a Glass app do something more than send a photo or put a headline in front of your face.