The prospect of undergoing invasive surgery, post-op recovery, the risk of infection or negative sequelae has a real psychological impact for potential patients or family members. It is only human to be apprehensive of major surgery… Watching a video of a procedure is a powerful means of gaining an overview for a future patient, as it illustrates in a dispassionate, clinical manner what the treatment will involve.
OR-Live.com provides just that type of specific surgical information, as it is an archive of webcasts or videos showing surgery or procedures involving actual patients in real time.
Medical institutions on OR-Live are fully identified, the physicians or surgical team generally introduce themselves on camera, and the patients may (or may not) speak or identify themselves. For example, recently I watched a webcast of an elective caesarean section, and the mother and father both spoke on camera after the baby was born. Cool! The site is, in a way, a type of ‘library’ for anyone who is seeking to learn more about treatments or operations which have been suggested to them by their own physicians, or for learning needs of medical students, nurses, residents or other health professionals.
Here is an excerpt from the OR-Live Inc. About page:
” Medical Information provided on OR-Live is presented for educational purposes. It is intended to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician.
This website is owned and operated by OR-Live, Inc. OR-Live, Inc. is not a health care provider and does not provide medical diagnosis or treatment. OR-Live, Inc. only provides visitors to the site with referrals to medical facilities and health care providers that may be able to assist them in their medical needs. OR-Live, Inc. has not conducted an independent investigation or performed other due diligence functions with regard to the health care providers or medical facilities to which the referrals are made. ”
“ Live audiences on OR-Live usually average around 1,000 viewers…“.
During surgical procedures, one doctor (or team of physicians) provides commentary – usually outside of the surgical suite – to explain to the viewer what is happening in the operating room.
Because OR-Live is a commercial – and for profit – venture, the live or taped broadcasts will provide subtle (or not so subtle) cues aimed towards promotion and marketing the health care institution or facility where the surgery took place. As an example, following is a screenshot of an announcement of a transnasal endoscopic procedure scheduled to take place on Thursday May 8 2008:
(Note: The identifying name and location of the medical facility hosting the session has been deliberately obscured in order to avoid any appearance of ‘advertising’ or conflicts of interest).
OR-Live segments also provide brief videos of actual patients speaking about their diagnosis, surgical and/or treatment experience. This is useful information for potential patients (or medical or nursing students) who can watch and listen to real patients describe their symptoms, diagnosis, selection of treatments, surgery, post-op recovery and outcome.
To gain full access to the contents of OR-Live, you must first register with the company, then log-in. Access to the contents is free of charge. Users will need to connect via a computer which has media-player software (which is available to download for free… click here for a FAQ) and a high speed Internet connection is recommended.
For a list of procedures by Surgical Specialty on OR-Live, click here. For a list of Podcasts on OR-Live: click here.