The First Live-Tweeted Open Heart Surgery
By Charlotte Cavaretta, Account Supervisor and Social Media Strategist, MSLGROUP New York
Just when you think you’ve seen it all, social media provides us with yet another example of its ability to connect people and share unexpected activities. As reported by Mashable last week, doctors at Houston’s Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital recently live-tweeted the first ever open heart surgery, making both medical and social media history.
Dr. Michael Macris performed the double-coronary artery bypass while wearing a video camera attached to his head while Dr. Paresh Patel provided Twitter updates, pictures and videos throughout the procedure and answered questions submitted by followers of the hospital’s @houstonhospital Twitter account. Dr. Macris also wore a video camera attached to his head.
Meeting its goals to educate and raise awareness around Heart Month, the event attracted media attention from around the world, with Dr. Patel’s tweets being translated for readers as far away as Azerbaijan, India and China.
The hospital has embraced digital technology for the past several years, hosting more than 50 webinars including a recent live social media-broadcasted Q&A about colonoscopies for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The live-tweeted open-heart surgery was born from that same spirit of education through technology. “We were talking about what we could do for Heart Month. Last year we did something where you could share a glass of red wine with someone online, but we wanted to take it farther,” said Natalie Camarata, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System’s digital marketing manager. “So we came up with the Twitter-cast idea to pull back the curtain on something that happens every day in all of our hospitals.”
This is sure to lead the way in how the healthcare industry and academia leverage creativity and digital innovation to educate the masses. It will be interesting to see what other activities or events organizations and brands will have us participating in and sharing in the future.
Charlotte Cavaretta is a Account Supervisor and Social Media Strategist at MSL New York. She specializes in digital influencer marketing and always on social media strategy and execution.
This post originally appeared on MSLWorldwide.