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Watch a Colonoscopy Live & (almost) in Person!

by Leah Greene, JD, LLM on March 28th, 2012

Beginning at 12:00 p.m. CST today, Memorial Hermann Hospital is live-tweeting a colonoscopy, complete with photographs, videos, and commentary as well as the opportunity to ask a gastroenterologist and an internist any questions about it. You can log onto Twitter to watch the procedure: For those who do not wish to watch this procedure during lunch, it will be archived on the hospital’s website.

In February, Memorial Hermann Hospital live-tweeted an open heart surgery via Twitter, complete with photographs, videos, and commentary. It was the first live-tweeted heart surgery in the country. A slideshow of that procedure is available here.

Social media is rapidly increasing patient access to health care information. Formerly, the only opportunity to watch a surgical procedure was to watch it from a gallery above an operating room. This opportunity is generally invitation-only, and these invitations are limited, so a member of the general public would rarely be able to watch a procedure from this vantage point. In addition, the distance from the gallery to the operating table does not allow the observers to appreciate any small moves the surgeon made within the body cavity. These tweeted procedures, however, allow the general public to watch a procedure as if they were scrubbed into it just like one of the health care providers involved.

If your physician recommends a surgical procedure for you or your family, would the opportunity to watch the procedure via Twitter (or another social media avenue) play into your decision to consent to the procedure? Please let us know in the comment section below.

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From → Misc.