Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Medical Trends - YouTube as a Dress Rehearsal for Medical Procedures

YouTube to instruct patients about medical procedures? It was bound to come. YouTube burst onto the Internet scene several years back and quickly sold to Google.com by two young men for $1.6 billion.

Now medical and dental practices have adopted it to show educational videos for what they do. The Oct. 28 NYT carries a piece “You’ve Had the Root Canal. Now See the Movie.”

The article tells the story of Dr. Jerry Gordon, a dentist in Benslem, PA (www.dentalcomfortzone.com). A local videographer shot the 10 minute video for $2000. More than 11,000 people have viewed it in the two months it has been on YouTube. In 2006, 11 patients found Dr. Gordon through the video on his website. Since he posted the video on YouTube 68 patients have come to him via YouTube for a root canal.

YouTube now has hundreds of “clinical tutorials” or
”instructional videos, “the euphemistic names for video clips of clinical procedures, for everything from cardiac bypasses to joint replacements. The appeal of videos is universal. Some postings draw more than 1 million visitors. YouTube draws in viewers with this message. “Watch millions of videos. Share favorites with friends and family. Connect with others who share your interests. Upload your video worldwide.”

In posting this blog, I’m observing, not advocating , the clinical use of YouTube. I can see where these videos might be abused. But I also knowYouTube represents a profound innovation in the Internet world.

This should come as no surprise. As John Naisbitt, the author of Megatrends and now of Mind Set!, has observed, “There is unprecedented visual assertiveness in the world today, from art to architecture to high-end fashion, and the design of common goods. It is an MTV world, a world where visual narrative is overwhelming literary narrative.”

The world of medicine is now part of that visual world, whether we like or approve of it or not.

For publications related to this topic, see Sailing the Seven “Cs” of Hospital Physician Relationships, The Voices of Health Reform, Innovation-Driven Health Care, And Who Shall Care for the Sick?

1 comment:

williamcoats said...

Dr. Reece, our company, VSONA, Inc. is leading a new business embedding professional, flash video interviews into online doctor directories. I'm curious if you see this as a benefit or not when it comes filling the content gap online when you search for doctors. Currently, all you get is static, text based search. Is this something you see as useful and productive to medicine. We are bringing high quality, professional video to the masses of medical professionals (we're not do it yourself YouTube).

Here is a sample of one of our clients online: