Live Twitter surgeries hit with hospitals, public

By By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI

HOUSTON (AP) — Hospitals vying to remain relevant in a competitive marketplace are using Twitter to broadcast surgery live, including graphic pictures and videos that attract hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital took to Twitter Wednesday in its most recent live broadcast, sharing a cesarean section delivery. The staff began Tweeting at about 7 a.m. after promoting the online procedure for days. During the procedure, the hospital gained hundreds of followers, though it was still unclear how many watched. When it live tweeted a brain surgery last year, the hospital said it gained 7,000 followers and more than 230,000 people viewed the procedure.

Hospitals have been using social media for several years. In recent years, many have hired staff to focus on social media and used it to tout doctors.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.