Live from Rochester, Minn. it’s … a colonoscopy.
The Mayo Clinic is jumping into the emerging trend of livestreaming medical procedures via the mobile app Periscope with a live broadcast Tuesday morning of a colonoscopy.
The live stream, dubbed #ScopeScope, allows viewers to witness the procedure in real time and ask questions of Mayo doctors on hand for the broadcast. Clinic officials say the purpose is to educate people about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer, the second-deadliest cancer for men and women in America.
“Hopefully, we’ll encourage a lot more people to get screened,” said Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network and the patient who will be undergoing Tuesday’s colonoscopy. Aase said he volunteered to be the subject of Mayo’s first Periscope live broadcast to help alleviate fears many people have about colonoscopies.
“There are an awful lot of people who resist getting screened,” he said. “It’s not something you’d want to do for the fun of it, but it’s not as bad as people make it seem.”
The live stream will take place at 7:30 a.m. and will be broadcast on Mayo Clinic’s Periscope channel using the #ScopeScope hashtag. Further instructions for viewing can be found at connect.mayoclinic.org/periscope.
Similar attempts to educate the public about colorectal cancer screenings using the power of broadcasting include television anchor Katie Couric’s groundbreaking report on “The Today Show” in 2000, which featured a video of her colonoscopy. The impact of that public awareness video was clear. Colonoscopy rates jumped more than 20 percent nationwide after her report aired. Medical researchers called the phenomenon “the Katie Couric Effect.”
Mayo officials say they will be able to measure how many people are watching their live stream, and they’re working on ways to gauge the aftereffects.
“We’re putting some things in place where we hope to be able to identify or have people tweet whether they are getting screened,” Aase said. “We’re thinking through some ways that we’ll be able to measure that.”
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