eHealthSocial Media

First Surgery Broadcast Live on Google Plus Hangout

2 Mins read



Small print:  time delay due to  hospital and legal restriction on live broadcast.

Patient-centric medicine, openness and transparency  are some of the new “buzz words” we see in social media and from health care consultants.

Many patients are asking for more information to the point where some physicians become uncomfortable being this open with a patients’ private concerns. However we are all witnessing patients requesting the use of social media, be it Facebook, twitter, email, or even newer platforms such as Google.

Even I was surprised when one of my social media friends requested that her thyroidectomy be broadcast live via a Google Hangout.

Without going into great detail, the video is presented without editing, and accurately  reflects the typical technical difficulties in the operating room, including unexpected glitches. The surgery went very well, and for a first time amateur hangout, the recording went fairly well.

I had technical support from several other social media friends, handling network connections, and also two moderators advising me and controlling cameras, and audio.

Let’s join the surgery.

This undertaking was done with the full consent of the patient and the surgeon. The primary concern was delaying the transmission of the live feed. 

We are in a ‘brave new world’ with advances in health information technology, patient-centric medicine, openness and transparency.  We have left behind the ‘cloistered’ spaces of the operating rooms, and the mysteries of the hospital.

It is important for our patients to become more informed (if they wish to) about their environment, especially to reduce their apprehension about what is occurring when  they are under anesthesia.

Even as an experienced surgeon, when I returned to the video recording it was quite exciting to watch  as an observer.

We hope that patients will see this video, have questions and comments, and that surgeons will see the possibilities for a family member to watch from the comfort of their own home.

As a point of information this event was not sponsored by Google and was the product of myself, Dan McDermott, Mike Downes and Hermine Ngnomire.

This presentation is the beginning of a work in progress.  My vision and prediction is that this type of broadcast will become routine for patients and their families when and if desired.

The technology is readily available and very inexpensive. It can be accomplished with a Laptop PC, a webcam, and Wifi and in some cases hangouts can be run on 3G or 4G cellular networks.

Hangouts such as this for home health care, post discharge for patients at home, in home health services for disabled patients and technical assistance for patients and their families with durable medical equipment. The cost savings could be enormous.

We also had several anchor news people connecting with us from FOX LA and

I expect this to open a conversation and controversy.  Let’s hear from the readers.




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