by Kyle Patton, Editorial Assistant, Dentaltown Magazine
Each year the University of Michigan School of Dentistry holds a research day. The exhibition hall is a combination of students presenting their research, and vendors vying for the student’s attention. When co-founders of Dentyzion Kevin Kuo and Mikhail Garibov approached a SurgiTel marketing specialist, the meeting turned into a match made in eyewear heaven. Now with SurgiTel’s support, Dentyzion is quickly advancing its Google Glass loupes idea. We sat down with Kuo to get the scoop on Dentyzion. Take a close-up look.
What is your background in dentistry?
Kuo: We are all dental students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Mikhail, Daniel, and I are fourth-year, while Shalini is in her third year. Mikhail and I will ultimately continue our dental education in periodontics and endodontics, respectively. Daniel will work in private practice and teach adjunctly at the dental school.
Tell us about Dentyzion, and what you hope to provide.
Kuo: Dentyzion is a dental technology and digital marketing consulting company. In short, we are a team of innovative and creative thinkers. We hope to provide clients with unique technological solutions to dental problems. Dentistry is quickly changing. The profession needs to adapt to continue to provide optimal care for patients. We feel technology can be the solution to many of those problems. We also specialize in helping our clients promote their practices and products.
You are in an elevator. A man asks what your company does. You have 15 seconds before the door opens. What do you say?
Kuo: We won’t invent the light bulb. We won’t even fix a broken one. But, we are the ones to make light in places nobody has before. That’s how we approach technology.
What is the philosophy at Dentyzion?
Kuo: We feel that collaboration is incredibly important in what we do. Our main objective is to help better dentistry for providers, patients and students—which is not easy. The projects we are currently attacking and the ones we anticipate working on will likely require a multi-disciplinary approach. At the basis, our expert team members will work with you on any particular project at a personalized level according to your specific needs. Additionally, for more involved projects, Dentyzion will help initiate communication with other parties to help solve a given problem for the benefit of all involved.
Tell us about your vision for Google Glass in dental education?
Kuo: Our primary efforts right now center around improving dental education. We believe Google Glass can assist students in learning technical skills in both pre-clinical and clinical settings. Dentyzion is currently working with the University of Michigan School of Dentistry to integrate Glass in the Simulation Lab and in the Oral Surgery Department. We are also collaborating with SurgiTel to integrate loupes in Glass. Our vision for Glass in dental education allows students to visualize live video demonstration while working themselves or assisting faculty surgeries.
What kind of service can clients expect when they pick up the phone and call you?
Kuo: When a client first calls Dentyzion, we gather as much information as we can on not only the problem indicated but also details about the clients (i.e., dentists, dental schools, manufacturers, software developers). We want to personalize our solutions to who we are working with. Once the information gathering is completed, we present our strategic plan to the clients. They, at the time of presentation, will have an opportunity to evaluate our recommended plan of action. When the plan is agreed upon, Dentyzion will assist the clients in the plan’s implementation as well. In other words, we help clients from start to finish—from the initial idea to the final product.
How and when can clients begin working with you?
Kuo: Details about our company, including contact information, can be found on our website, Dentyzion.com. Because of our various post-grad plans, we will have representatives in Ann Arbor, Seattle and Philadelphia.
Dental Product Shopper recently chatted with Kevin Kuo, one of the inventors of Google GlassLoupes, who, along with fellow University of Michigan dental students Mikhail Garibov, Shalini Kamodia, and Daniel Hammaker, make up Dentyzion, dental technology and digital marketing consultants.
Q: What do you want the dental profession to know about your company?
A: Dentyzion is a dental technology and digital marketing consulting company, co-founded by one 3rd year and three 4th year dental students from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. In short, we are a team of innovative and creative thinkers. We hope to provide clients with unique technological solutions to dental problems. Dentistry is quickly changing. The profession needs to adapt to continue to provide optimal care for patients. We feel technology can be the solution to many of those problems. We also specialize in helping our clients promote their practices and products. Bottom line, we provide a service. We don’t make products. We instead help others make stuff or make stuff happen. In other words, we won’t invent the light bulb. We won’t even fix a broken one. We are the ones to make light in places nobody has before. That’s how we approach technology.
Q: How did you get started with this project and how did Google Glass Loupes come to be?
A: Our first project as a company involved coming up with ideas to implement Google Glass in dentistry. After our initial brainstorming, we quickly realized that Google Glass was not practical without the ability to wear it alongside loupes, as most dentists wear magnification optics when practicing dentistry. The 4 of us designed and created a visual mock-up where a clear shield, with its mounted optics, was attached to the existing Glass frames. We then presented the idea to SurgiTel who made the mock-up into a reality—the world’s first Google Glass loupes.
Q: How did you all settle on this final design?
A: We pondered the design for quite awhile. The difficulty came with the fact that our design needed to be practical and comfortable for the users, and at the same time, profitable for a manufacturer. Obviously, a dedicated Google Glass frame for loupes would be ideal, but that would require us to work with Google directly—which was not an option at the time. First, we then had to decide to try to attach loupes to Glass, or Glass to existing loupe frames. It is certainly possible to attach the Glass display on a non-dedicated Glass frame. However several issues, such as balance and functionality, prevented us from retrofitting Glass. We, instead, focused on adding optics to the current Glass designs. We then had to decide on which Google Glass frames to base our design—from the default design or from the 4 prescription frames available. In the end, we decided on the default design as it allows the user to detach the loupes when used in surgery or dentistry. In other words, the surgeon or dentist does not need to buy 2 Google Glass devices if he or she wants to use Glass at home, and it is also easier for a manufacturer to produce and distribute.
Q: How did SurgiTel assist/help out in developing Google Glass Loupes?
A: SurgiTel was instrumental in defining the necessary optical attributes for a working model. For instance, they helped us realize the importance of working angulation to relieve back, eye, and neck strain. The ideal angles are determined by how the oculars are positioned onto lenses and how those lenses are positioned in relation to the frames. Lucky for us, the existing Google Glass frames allowed us to rightly position the oculars for the best comfort for the user. SurgiTel, of course, also produced the current model with their hi-tech laser assisted system to install loupes on a clear lens.
Q: What’s the coolest feature of Google Glass?
A: The technology in Google Glass is the future. This year, 2014, will be forever known as the year of wearable devices. This is the first year when a significant offering of wearable gadgets exists, from watches to glasses. Glass is a specific wearable technology that creates an augmented reality for the user. To put it simply, Glass is a computer that you wear on your head. There is a small visual display similar to a rearview mirror on a car, and it is controlled predominately by voice commands and by a side multi-touch pad. Additionally, there is a camera beside the visual display that allows the user to take pictures and record HD video.
The loupe lenses are critical for its functionality in dentistry. Now practitioners can use Glass while operating on patients. The SurgiTel Micro 2.5x optics installed on our design is incredibly light. We did not encounter any weight difference or balance issues with the loupes on Glass compared to them being off. The optics also include large buttons (the part of the optics closest to the eye), which allows better visibility and comfort. Some loupe manufactures provide optics that are less-cylindrical and more square, which are less expensive to produce but less useful for providers.
Q: How have Google Glass Loupes been received?
A: We’ve had a tremendously positive response from people who had the opportunity to try them on. Dental students and faculty at U of M immediately are in awe of this technology. The best part about our product design is that people love it and are excited about it. For us, this excitement is important for Dentyzion. We believe the best ideas are the ones that feel natural and useful for people, and we believe loupes and Google Glass fit those criteria.
Q: When will dentists/hygienists/dental students be able to purchase Google Glass Loupes?
A: At this moment, SurgiTel has decided not to officially sell or manufacturer these loupes for Google Glass. Please contact SurgiTel for more information if you have any inquiries about potentially purchasing the loupes. For questions about product development and implementation, please contact Dentyzion.
By Kevin Henry, Dental Products Report
When the concept of Google Glass was first announced, it didn’t take long for dental professionals (and our own technology editor, Dr. John Flucke) to wonder how the invention would impact dentistry. A group of dental students from the University of Michigan appears to have taken a big leap toward answering that question.
After watching their YouTube video detailing their usage of Google Glass loupes, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Kevin Kuo, one of the inventors. Kuo joins fellow Wolverines Mikhail Garibov, Shalini Kamodia, and Daniel Hammaker to form Dentyzion, a company that they describe as “a unique dental consulting company -- the first of its kind. It aims to bridge the gap between technology and dentistry through innovative technological solutions for traditional and non-traditional dental problems.”
Kevin Henry: How did the idea of Google Glass and dental loupes begin?
Kevin Kuo: Actually, the idea of Google Glass and dental loupes came to fruition amongst an even greater idea. Mikhail Garibov, Daniel Hammaker, Shalini Kamodia, and I shared a particular interest in technology and as a result, cofounded Dentyzion—a dental technology & digital marketing consulting firm—when we were dental students at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry earlier this year. We believe that technology could be the solution to many problems in the profession and hope to assist future clients with innovative and creative strategies and implementation.
Our first project just happened to involve Google Glass. It was a natural start as Google started to invite developers to their Google Glass Explorer Program around the same time we thought about starting a company. The Program lets a select few thousand individuals to purchase Google Glass and test a prototype version. This gave developers the opportunity to not only give Google feedback about the current prototype but also create new applications and uses for the product.
After our initial brainstorming session with the ideas as a company, we immediately realized Google Glass was impractical in dentistry without loupes being a part of the design. Most dentists wear loupes (magnifying optics) to more comfortably treat patients and protective eye wear to prevent risks of infection. Our design satisfies both requirements. For us, adding loupes to Google Glass is an important step in the implementation of Glass in dentistry.
Henry: Talk about your first experience with it and what it was like.
Kuo: We collaborated with SurgiTel on this particular idea. They were the ones that produced a working model for Dentyzion to test and develop. When I first put them on, I knew immediately that the future is here. There’s no question in my mind that wearable devices like Google Glass will be an integral part of dentistry. The loupes were extremely comfortable. SurgiTel installed their 2.5x Micro optics. The weight of the optics were indistinguishable from the weight of Google Glass alone. I actually prefer wearing these than my existing loupes—which requires me to tightly secure the head strap around my head. With these Google Glass loupes, I can wear them comfortably without any additional headwear, in large from SurgiTel’s advanced lightweight optics.
Furthermore, Google Glass’ display neatly and non-obtrusively visible on the upper-right corner of my vision allows me to potentially see a wide variety of important dental information that will assist the provider in treating patients. The software part for Google Glass is still in its infancy. Dentyzion, along with other companies, are trying to develop apps to run on Google Glass. We believe that the future of Google Glass in dentistry involves the integration of electric health records. This would allow the dentists and other healthcare providers to visualize patient health history, radiographs, intraoral photographs, and periodontal chartings—to name a few.
Henry: What has been some of the feedback you’ve received on the usage of Google Glass as a teaching aid?
Kuo: The feedback has been tremendous. Dentyzion is really the first to definitively map out the potential use of Google Glass in dental academics. Other developers are focusing more on private practice applications. So when we first released our video, dentist and faculty from U of M and other dental schools were surprised and excited about the idea of using Google Glass in dental school. It’s just natural for a dental student to watch a video or even better, a live feed of clinical techniques while working themselves. The positioning of the Google Glass display is perfect for this. It’s away from the line of sight enough for it to be non-obtrusive. But it’s in close enough proximity, like a car’s rearview mirror, for it to be useful without neck strain.
Our team at Dentyzion have let countless students and faculty wear the Google Glass loupes. It’s very encouraging for them to wear it and be so excited about it. For us, this excitement is important. We believe the best ideas are the ones that feel natural and useful for people, and we believe loupes and Google Glass are one of them.
Henry: What do you see as the future of using Google Glass, both in teaching and in operatory?
Kuo: There are two routes developers can focus on with Google Glass—the display or the camera. Most developers in healthcare is choosing the later. However, Dentyzion believes the display is more practical for dentistry. If you noticed, in our previous answers, we focused only on Google Glass’ display and not the camera. Dentyzion believes the display on Google Glass is what’s unique and what will make Glass and devices like it useful in dentistry. It’s interesting how telemedicine with Google Glass is gaining so much publicity. You hear and watch all the time on television how doctors around the world are streaming their surgeries live with Google Glass.
The camera on Google Glass has a very short focal length, like the camera on cell phones. Because of that, the pictures and video shot with Glass’s camera are very wide. So when one shoots video on their patients, you cannot just see the teeth being worked. You instead see the entire face along with the chair and floor—not nearly enough magnification and narrow field to see small structures. This is also not a limitation in technology. It’s a limitation in physics. In order for a camera to shoot small structures, like in surgeries, a long focal length is needed. A telescopic lens is not practical to implement on Google Glass for both esthetic and functional reasons.
I’ve already mentioned the type of visuals that could be displayed on Google Glass in private practice. As far as academics goes, students would view videos or live streams shot, not from another Google Glass, but with surgical cameras like SurgiTel’s SurgiCam. The camera is lightweight and small and can be integrated on a dentist’s loupe frames.
Ann Arbor, MI — April 7, 2014 — A group of 13 fourth-year dental students from University of Michigan School of Dentistry were recently inducted into the national dental honor society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, as the organization celebrated the 100 year anniversary of its founding.
Established in 1914, OKU promotes and recognizes scholarship and character among students of dentistry. Each year, the School’s Chi Chapter selects a limited number of final-year dental students for initiation into the organization. In addition to their scholastic achievements, the students have also demonstrated exemplary traits of character and the potential for future professional growth.
This year’s inductees were: Jonathan Dzingle, Lauren Ehardt, Kyle Eurick, Samantha Garber, Mikhail Garibov, Brent Kendziorski, Kevin Kuo, Laura Lungu, Rebecca Mooar, Dipa Patel, Elena Petrova, Cassandra Schwab and Whitney Yahn.
Allison Everett received the OKU Scholarship Award, Douglas Orzel received the Kramer Award, and Emily Springfield, instructional designer, received a certificate of recognition.
Dr. Sean Edwards, clinical associate professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry, was inducted as a new faculty member. Dr. Vesa Kaartinen, associate professor of dentistry in the Department of Biologic and Materials Sciences, was awarded honorary membership.
by Ryan Devens, Arrowhead editor '06
Second in the senior class, star tennis player, first chair violin, tons of scholarship offers to any school he pleases, and possessing ungodly good looks, Kevin Kuo modestly refuses to admit that he has single-handedly dominated every aspect of the high school experience.
Appearing to be a quiet conforming Asian boy, Kevin is steadily beginning to loosen up as his rigorous high school career comes to a close. Taking full advantage of D-B's AP program, acing every single class and making almost all 5's on his AP tests, his GPA and bank of college credit hours he has earned will surely prove his undying determination to be better than the rest.
Even though Kevin has a 4.8+ GPA average, he will not under any circumstance brag his accomplishments, probably assuming people will strike up enough interest to find out themselves. As the reality of college life peaks around the end, Kevin has decided he is going to refocus himself on the one thing that has made his life worthwhile, music.
Whether he attends Vanderbilt or UT, he plans on excelling in either school's orchestra program. With intensive involvement in the Dobyns-Bennett orchestra all four years, playing violin as first chair each year, he has served his purpose of being the most important asset to the orchestra.
Other than the fact that he eagerly admitted his reason of joining the orchestra, the ladies, he loves taking the responsibility of leading the orchestra as the first violin, which is easily the most important position.
He is simply deemed a leader by his ability to easily guide the rest of the orchestra to play the right way at the right time. Every successful orchestra requires such an individual, and Kevin Kuo fills in this job quite perfectly. Even though most of his valuable time will be saturated with his future plans of becoming a dentist, he will still make time for a college orchestral commitment.
Not only is Kevin extremely intelligent, he is multi-talented and is able to master every single ability the human mind is able to muster. Solving the Rubik's Cube in less than one minute, being able to throw a perfect spiral football, sinking multiple three's in basketball with ease, being bilingual in both Chinese and English, being able to miraculously predict the entire NCAA bracket and almost win a free trip to Cancun for doing so, and once again, last but not least, having heart-stopping handsomeness. Kevin has everything going for him, and there are no signs of him slowing down.
However, aside from his ultra-serious future plans, Kevin feels it necessary to make room for a little humor as well. Abiding by almost all Asian stereotypes, hardworking, having high intelligence, and scoring phenomenal on his SATs, he is determined to convince people he is not a shy guy, but in fact a very outgoing, attention friend.
Getting people to laugh with him has proven to be yet another one of his fortes. He admits that he chose violin as a child because "all Asians play violin" and obviously because "it's easy to hit someone with because of its small size."
Overall, Kevin has immensely enjoyed his high school experience, gathering countless friends on the way because of his carefree, yet focused outlook on life, continuing to teach, learn, and overcome every obstacle in life with ease.
"Dental anxiety is a very common fear. People often cite local anesthesia injections as the greatest source of their fear. Others express the high-pitched sounds of the drill. And likely, those same dental sounds are associated by the patients with injections and other dental pain and are what trigger fear. This avoidance in regular dental prevention and treatment leads to an unfortunate cycle that further compounds their dental anxiety. More often than not, fearful patients seek dental care only when severe dental pain and swelling emerge. These appointments are usually traumatic and difficult, making their chair time extremely uncomfortable. Of course, this terrifying experience encourages patients to avoid dentists even more.
“Feel Again in Dentistry” is my attempt to resolve and raise awareness to this troubling irony [...]."