Does Your Surgeon Tweet?

In the short amount of time that our blog, Senior Help Forum, has been live (a little over a year and a half), I have seen incredible advancements in the tools that the healthcare industry is developing and offering to the general public. They are even embracing social media and mobile technology.

In January of 2009, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan became the first hospital to tweet a live surgery (@HenryFordNews).

The lead surgeon, Dr. Craig Rogers, and his chief resident, Dr. Raj Laungani tweeted  updates throughout the surgery (, February 17, 2009).  According to, “at the end, Rogers had the last tweet. ‘The robotic partial nephrectomy was a success. ‘Thank you for joining us today.’” The entire Twitter stream was then uploaded to YouTube.  (By the time I wrote this post, it was no longer available on YouTube.)

Throughout 2009, several other hospitals around the country embraced Twitter and began tweeting, as well.  On November 23, 2009, I followed a Hip resurfacing surgery on The Detroit Medical Center’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. It was fascinating!

I am now a regular follower on Twitter of the DMC and follow their Twitter surgeries.  The DMC can be followed on Twitter at @DMC_Heals.

We would love to hear your thoughts on Tweeting in the operating room……

An Invaluable Return for Sharing Your Patient Data

A colleague of mine called this moving, moving video to my attention.  Click here to view.

In the video, Jamie Heywood shares the story of how when his brother Stephen was diagnosed with ALS,  he and Stephen began capturing data on a variety of topics related to his experience (e.g., medications, dosages, efficacy, impact on health, etc.) as a patient with ALS.

Out of this data capture, Jamie and his brother Ben Heywood, along with a friend, founded PatientsLikeMe and an “ingenious website where people share and track data on their illnesses — and they discovered that the collective data had enormous power to comfort, explain and predict.”

PatientsLikeMe is a privately funded company that aggregates its users health information and shares it with members of the PatientsLikeMe community.

The community is free of charge to its members.

Data is incredibly powerful, sharing data is exponentially more powerful!

A special “thank you” to Dean McRobie for sharing this moving video.

How to Put Your Old Eyeglasses to Good Use

When cleaning out my Dad’s desk drawers a few years back, I found several pairs of old eyeglasses.  Most were still in great shape – – some a little “dated” but the lenses were in good condition.

I donated them to a couple of really good causes.

OneSight:  OneSight is “a family of charitable vision care programs dedicated to improving vision through outreach, research and education. Since 1988, these charitable efforts have provided free vision care and eyewear to more than seven million people in need around the world and have granted millions of dollars towards optical research and education.”

The thing I like about this program is just how convenient it is to donate.  I was able to drop my family’s old eyeglasses off at my local Pearle Vision store and they immediately gave me a receipt that I could use for a tax deduction purposes.

Donations are also accepted at any: LensCrafters, ILORI, Optical Shop of Aspen, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical or participating local practitioner. Find the donation location nearest you today!

The optometrist that I have been seeing at Pearl (formerly D.O.C.), personally distributes the glasses when he donates his time and professional services in third world countries.

The Lions: Over the years, my family has donated several pairs of glasses to our local Lions’ Clubs.  A couple of years back, I dropped glasses off in a box supplied by the Lions in the lobby of a real estate office in Royal Oak, Michigan.  My Uncle Chuck had been a long time member of the Lions so I felt particularly good about donating to their collection.

The Lions website says they currently have eleven recycling centers in the United States.  Click here for the complete list of recycling centers.