Do You Periscope?

I recently started to play around with Periscope. Have you been using it? Or have you been watching other people’s Periscopes? For those not familiar with the technology (or its competitor Meerkat), Periscope is a super simple way to live stream video from a mobile device. In literally a few clicks of your mobile screen, you can live stream pretty much anything.

Charles Webster is officially a Periscope addict and wrote a great post about why he’s become an addict and some of its healthcare IT uses. Here’s a section of that post:

I’ve fallen hard for Periscope, Twitter’s new live video streaming app. Despite a long list of “But…”s (privacy, flakey clients, low rez video, difficulty finding the best videos in real-time, trolls…), the idea itself — “Explore the world in real time through someone else’s eyes” — is great, perhaps even, dare I say, revolutionary. For example, yesterday I explored the world of EHR and health IT medical office workflow through the eyes of a patient and her physician. (By the way, the Periscope link is only good for 24 hours, so will cease to work today around 2PM EST. See further below for YouTube archive. The Periscope is to be preferred, because it includes comments and hearts.) I’ve surfed off the coast of Australia. I’ve admired kittens online (now, that IS revolutionary!).

Personally, I’m not as taken by Periscope as Chuck. The video quality isn’t as good. It’s not as fun for me to do by myself, but it is fun to do at a party where there are a lot of people. If you’re on a busy periscope, the chat messages get lost in the wave of messages. The hearting in periscope is nice unless you’re in a busy periscope where the hearts just never stop.

I’ll admit that the few periscopes I’ve done personally have felt really awkward. Dr. James Legan described it this way:

All of this said, I love to try new technologies and understand what’s going on by getting my hands a little dirty. Periscope is part of a trend around live streamed video that’s been happening for a lot of years now. Periscope has just taken it to another level of ease. Before it took a bit of technical skill to live stream video everywhere. Now anyone can do it with Periscope and it takes almost no effort. That’s something to watch.

Still don’t believe me? According to a post which is a few weeks old, there are over 10 million periscope accounts. Plus, they’re seeing over 40 years of video watched every day. I’m sure that’s number even larger today. Will this be a passing fad? I don’t think so since it’s really just the continued evolution of live streamed video.

I’m still not sure all the impact for good and bad of all this live streamed video. However, there’s something compelling about someone taking you live into their life. The list of Periscopes I’ve seen is quite different than Chuck’s list above. However, it’s just as broad of a spectrum of things and it’s great that we each have a customized experience of what’s interesting to us. There’s something really exciting about the discovery of something new or a look into something you’ve never seen before. It’s like going backstage into someone’s life. Everyone likes a behind the scenes look into something.

Consider this the start to my exploration of new technology. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Periscope. Have you used it? Have you found it valuable? Does it scare you? How will we see it used in healthcare?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


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