Want to awe prospective patients and colleagues with your skills and expertise in real time? There is an app for that. Periscope (available on iOS and Android) can help any cosmetic or plastic surgeon build a national and even international platform.

It took Oprah 20 years to build her media empire, and now with the help of Periscope, you can broadcast what you are doing LIVE anytime and anywhere. What can you air? Instructional videos, assistance and feedback in real time, live surgeries, and inside access. The app is also a new platform for medical training.

Most who start Periscoping go through the humbling experience of broadcasting live to only two or five viewers, but you have to start somewhere! Once you become proficient, hundreds or even thousands of viewers can see you at any given time. The genius of this application is that the whole package comes in your smartphone. It may feel like a limitation for those of you who prefer more sophisticated production capabilities; yet, the quality is still good enough. After 1 month of broadcasting, including a live facelift and injections, we have made 119 broadcasts, gained 648 followers, and received 138,611 hearts. (To get hearts from your viewers, they have to “tap” the screen, and each tap is a heart. ) It makes it a tactile experience, and gives a different feel to engaging your audience.

Your viewers comment in real time, and the dialogue is what you would expect; questions about Botox, fillers, procedures, and recovery. Our main focus is to educate, and we have found that our patients and the Periscope community enjoy being a part of this process.

We love the app and we will keep live broadcasting. Periscope only holds your video for 36 hours, but there are sites that will store them longer. If you have the desire and infrastructure, you can edit and repurpose this content and build your video library. Bottom line, Periscope is like anything else in life: if you want to get a return from it, you have to be committed to a long-term strategy. If you truly want to share your personality and your practice with your patients, this app can help you connect in a way that has never been done before.

CastellanoRich Castellano, MD, is a facial plastic surgeon in private practice in Tampa and the Villages, Fla.