SXSW Interactive 2013

Social Surgery: Live Streaming the Operating Room

While most doctors don't advertise on TV, a growing number of tech-savvy docs are live streaming entire surgical procedures, and even answering questions from viewers in real time.

The goal is to demystify the surgical process and enable patients to experience surgery virtually, before ever stepping foot in an operating room. But social media in the operating also presents many profound challenges.

Healthcare is among the most tightly-controlled and regulated industries, so it's no surprise doctors have been slow to adopt social media. They're just now beginning to catch up, and live streaming in the operating room is the new frontier.

This panel will feature healthcare PR specialist/UCLA instructor Erik Deutsch and renowned eye surgeon Rob Rivera, M.D., who routinely live-streams surgical procedures (see 6/20/12 Mashable story -

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  1. How can surgeons bring social media into the operating room amid a range of regulatory, legal and ethical concerns?
  2. What types of surgical procedures are (and are not) suitable for live video streaming... and why?
  3. When it comes to live streaming surgical procedures, how should doctors walk the line between patient education and marketing?
  4. What specific types of technology and expertise are required to make the operating room suitable for live streaming video and social media engagement.
  5. What happens if something goes wrong in the operating room during a live streamed surgery?



Erik Deutsch, Principal, ExcelPR Group

Meta Information:

  • Tags: social
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Health and Medicine
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate
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