In an effort to raise awareness and to provide the public more information on cochlear implant surgery as a viable treatment for hearing loss, the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle is set to combine surgery with social media.
On Tuesday, October 2nd, the hospital will become the first in history to live-tweet a cochlear implant surgery. Not only that, but the live-tweeting will also include live-instagramming of photos from inside the operating room. If you ever wanted to get behind the scenes on one of these groundbreaking surgeries, this is going to be your only chance (short of getting your medical license, of course).
The doctor behind this medical first is Douglas D. Backous, director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery at the hospital. This live-tweeted surgery is actually the culmination of a broader campaign to raise awareness of the procedure. Since early September, Backous has been posting episodes of a video series on YouTube and the Center's website.
"This series was developed to increase awareness of cochlear implant surgery as a treatment option for hearing loss, to raise awareness of this life-changing surgery and to demonstrate that people who are deaf can have the ability to hear," says the Swedish Medical Center.
If you want to follow along, updates will be streaming via the @Swedish Twitter account, and also collected with the #SwedishHear hashtag. Instagram account instadroo will be the one manning the photo stream.
You can catch the action at 7:30 am PT.
After the live-tweeted surgery, Swedish will hold a live chat about the procedure on October 10th. According to Forbes, Dr. Backous has performed about 700 cochlear implants since 1993, so he's definitely not new at this. Broadcasting it via social media - that is most definitely a first.