We’ve written before about some of the headlines praising robotic surgery:
• Robot doctor – surgery of tomorrow
• Da Vinci puts magical touch on the prostate
• Cancer survivors meet lifesaving surgical robot
• Robotic surgeon’s hands never tremble
• Da Vinci is code for faster recovery
• Surgical Maestro
• DA VINCI ROBOT IS SURGERY WORK OF ART
Now even the news that a company is testing a couple of robotic-surgery-training-simulators “and expects the units to go on sale for about $100,000 by early 2011″ makes news.
The AP reported it (this is their photo at left of the news conference) and the story was picked up by ABC News.com, CNBC, the Los Angeles Times and elsewhere.
Granted, a simulator that might help train docs in what seems to be the inevitable spread of this technology might be an important quality/safety improvement.
But the AP story that spread across the country didn’t mention any concerns about the medical arms race involving robotic devices, nor any questions about evidence.
• Hold news conference.
• Demonstrate gizmo.
• Get nationwide news.
How easy it can be to get free publicity, without ever having people focus on some of the important policy questions at stake. But after this week, who cares about health care policy, anyway?