Henry Ford Hospital Tweets A Live Surgery Involving A Kidney Tumor

Posted Feb 17, 2009

Henry Ford Health System has a state-of-the-art hospital in Detroit, Michigan.  Around 8AM on February 9, doctors at the Henry Ford hospital decided to live-tweet* a surgery being performed in which a tumor is being removed from a kidney.  Although it is a risky surgery, all systems were go.  Doctors and nurses were in the operating room and the instruments were sterilized.

Some of the quotes that CNN found in response to the surgery live-tweet were:
“Here’s something different: HenryFordNews is live tweeting surgery today, getting some buzz, too,” wrote one Twitter participant from Massachusetts.
“I find this fascinating!” tweeted another Twitter user from Swansea, United Kingdom.
“It’s an interesting use of technology, but I can’t help but feel a bit ‘eeewww!’ about this,” wrote a third tweeter from New York.

Dr. Craig Rogers, the lead surgeon at Henry Ford believes that Twitter is a great way for doctors to be transparent.  In this case, he wanted to let people know that tumors can be removed without taking an entire kidney.  “We’re trying to use this as a way to get the word out,” stated Rogers.

“Doing this removes a real communication barrier. It helps make something scary much more comprehendable,” added Christopher Parks, co-founder of the Web site changehealthcare.com. “It brings us closer together and makes us more engaged.”

Below is a screenshot from Henry Ford’s Twitter account.

What are your thoughts?  Should surgeries be Twittered?  Leave a comment.

*Tweet = a message sent out to followers using Twitter.com