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HOUSTON -- Hospitals vying to remain relevant in a competitive marketplace are using Twitter to broadcast surgery live, including graphic pictures and videos that attract hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Houston s Memorial Hermann Hospital took to Twitter Wednesday in its most recent live broadcast, sharing a cesarean section delivery.

They answered questions posted by followers during the surgery.

The staff began Tweeting at about 7 a.m. after promoting the online procedure for days.

The baby boy was born less than three hours later. Heweighed 6 pounds 1 ounce, and was just over 19 inches long.

During the procedure, the hospital gained hundreds of followers, though it was still unclear how many watched. When it live tweeted a brain surgery last year, the hospital said it gained 7,000 followers and more than 230,000 people viewed the procedure.

Hospitals have been using social media for several years. In recent years, many have hired staff to focus on social media and used it to tout doctors.

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