Live tweeting from events isn’t new. You’ve probably seen it happen on your Twitter feed from sporting events, political debates and tech shows, just to name a few.
But here’s something relatively novel: live updates from the surgery room.
Last week, 79-year-old Eleanor Day underwent the first-ever live-tweeted, live-Instagrammed — are these words in the English dictionary yet? — cochlear implant surgery at Seattle’s Swedish Medical Center.
The social media engagement doesn’t stop there. Swedish will host two live, text-based chats at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. with doctors, an audiologist, a representative from the Hearing Loss Association and Mr. and Mrs. Day. Users will be see recorded footage of the surgery and ask questions via a chat box.
Day will be potentially able to hear without the help of hearing aids for the first time in five years.
Dana Lewis, the Swedish digital media and eHealth Strategist, outlines in a blog post why the medical center is covering an operation like this in the first place:
“We’re learning from our patients how hard it is to access information if you are deaf or have hearing loss, and, per a study in The Lancet, how this impacts the quality of healthcare. And so we decided to create additional resources to help raise awareness about the option of cochlear implants. People with hearing loss are not able to call on the phone to get more information or ask questions, so we decided to document via text (tweets) and images (Instagram photos) the cochlear implant procedure.”
Luckily for those sensitive to graphic images or for us trying to eat our lunch, Swedish warns viewers if something is a little graphic, like this.
This engagement is pretty cool and could very well become a regularity soon. But is it possible to take social media too far?