How 3 hospitals use Periscope for patient engagement

Several hospitals are blazing trails with Twitter’s live-streaming platform. Let’s look at how three providers are delivering health and wellness to patients via real-time video.

They are the health care pioneers of Periscope.

Although doctors aren’t using it to schedule patient appointments just yet, curious folks have been lurking on Periscope with secured accounts. Call it a new frontier; Periscope has been on the market only since March.

Here is a sampling of how some health care providers use Periscope:

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic and its Center for Social Media are known for the early adoption of new technology. The organization, which has nearly 1,300 Periscope followers, is conducting a six-month test to determine the best uses of the platform.

Lee Aase, director for the center, says the promising tool offers immediate connections with viewers. It also provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Mayo Clinic experience.

“Each year, we have patients come to Mayo Clinic from every state and more than 140 countries. People regularly express amazement at their experience. They tell others: ‘Wow, you really need to see it yourself’,” Aase says. “With Periscope, we’re giving more people that firsthand experience.”

According to Aase, because Twitter owns Periscope, it’s a natural choice for Mayo Clinic, which boasts more than 1.1 million Twitter followers. “The automatic tweet that goes out at the beginning of a Periscope broadcast should help draw a crowd,” Aase says. “We’re looking forward to experimenting with various types of broadcasts to see what’s most effective.”

(You can follow Mayo Clinic on Periscope: @MayoClinic.)

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recently used Periscope to live-stream video of a surgical procedure. The hospital showed a surgeon repairing a patient’s Achille’s tendon live and uncut via Periscope. The surgeon, Dr. Timothy Miller, also answered questions in real time from viewers who expressed their gratitude with on-screen hearts—the Periscope symbol for “like.”

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is among the first hospitals to use Periscope for video live-streaming of surgery. The entire Achilles procedure lasted 45 minutes, during which the hospital’s communications team cross-promoted the event on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. This increased viewing—and the number of hearts.

“We believe that Periscope is a great technology to help educate the public about medicine and the innovations happening at our facility,” says Robert Mackle, the medical center’s director of media relations. “The live video component and the ability to answer questions allow viewers to feel like they are right there in the operating room with our doctors.”

OSU’s Wexner Medical Center plans to broadcast a number of surgeries on Periscope in the coming months.

(You can follow The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center on Periscope: @OSUWexMed.)


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Drive for Men’s Health

Periscope has provided a most memorable doctor-patient connection through a recent Drive for Men’s Health campaign. Sijo Parekattil and Jamin Brahmbhatt—physicians at the Personalized Urology & Robotics (PUR) Clinic at South Lake Hospital, in affiliation with Orlando Health—drove 6,000 miles cross-country in an all-electric Tesla to raise awareness about men’s health.

The physicians met consumers at event stops along the way and interacted with people on social media. One Periscope follower, Willow, was so influenced by the doctors’ message that she invited her husband to watch them on Periscope. After seeing a live Q-and-A segment, Willow’s hubby scheduled an appointment with his primary care physician.

“Periscope is one way we are connecting with men and all consumers to raise awareness about men’s health,” Brahmbhatt says. “That one connection sums up the reason why we started the Drive for Men’s Health. We want to be a vehicle to start the conversation so that men will go to the doctor more often.”

Willow tracked the Drive for Men’s Health journey via Periscope and invited the doctors to stop by her office during their journey. As a result, four of Willow’s co-workers said they were encouraging their husbands to schedule checkups.


The Drive for Men’s Health doctors hold regular Q-and-A sessions on Periscope throughout the year.

(You can follow Drive for Men’s Health and Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt on Periscope: @drive4men, @jaminbrahmbhatt.)

Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, a public relations firm that specializes in brand journalism. MediaSource has been named Best Health Care Agency in both 2013 and 2014 in Ragan’s Health Care PR & Marketing Awards. Connect on Twitter: @LisaArledge.

This article was created in partnership with MediaSource.

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