You may have seen a post (Forbes) or two (CNET) in your various newsfeeds recently about the fact the Swedish is live-tweeting and Instagramming a cochlear implant (hearing restoration) surgery tomorrow, on October 2, 2012. (Check it out at www.swedish.org/swedishhear.)
A question we've gotten is why live-tweet or Instagram a surgery? Haven't you done that already? (Yes, we've used Twitter and video before (to educate patients about deep brain stimulation and knee replacement procedures, among others), but not Instagram.)
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. (In this Mashable post, Dr. Backous said only 10% of people who qualify for cochlear implants end up receiving them.)
Here's an example of one of the many stories that inspired this series:
(For closed captioning press the CC button located in the middle of the action bar that appears at the bottom of the video when it is playing. For the best results, watch the video in full screen by pressing the full screen button located in the right hand corner of the action bar.)
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.
We're also hosting two text-based chats next Wednesday on October 10, 2012 (at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific Time). The chats will enable patients and interested viewers to talk directly via the chat (text based - no audio) to Dr. Backous, audiologists, patients who have had the procedure, and patient advocacy groups. If you have unanswered questions about hearing loss or cochlear implants, we hope you'll join us for the discussion. (You can participate in the chat on October 10 on the same page that you can see all of the videos and resources from this series: www.swedish.org/swedishhear.)
We're proud to be able to use this kind of technology to connect experts like Dr. Backous to patients and community members who are looking for health information. And we'd love your feedback - what other ways can we use digital tools to create and spread health information to those who are looking for it?
Here's a full recap of the event: