Watch a Live Beating Heart on Twitter
Doctors tweeting throughout surgery and providing pictures and video is not new (hey, they've even done that on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy"!), but tweeting during open-heart surgery? That's new, and it's happening for the first time today.
Surgeons at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital in Houston are live tweeting a coronary bypass, complete with almost instantaneous YouTube videos and pictures of a beating heart.
Some of the pictures and video are already rolling into the hospital's Twitter feed, which can be found here, but before clicking, remember that the content is graphic, and includes images of the heart itself.
Dr. Michael Macris is conducting the two-hour bypass, wearing a helmet cam that snaps the photos and video, and sends them to a computer. Another camera in the operating room is also capturing images.
The patient's name has not been released, but according to the Houston Chronicle, he is a 57-year-old male.
The surgery coincides with Heart Month, but Dr. Lisa Gualtieri, a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine who teaches a course on social media and health, wishes there was a bit more education to go along with these sorts of social media initiatives that hospitals undertake.
"I feel like so much of what goes on has to do with money and donations. Too little of it has to do with education. I would be overjoyed if some piece of this was education about heart disease and what can cause a condition like this."
Memorial Hermann has arranged for a doctor on its staff to answer questions from the public through CoverItLive, which is embedded here.
No doubt about it, social media is certainly beating away in operating rooms.