Health News Review

In December of 2011 I wrote about about New Jersey’s Saint Barnabas medical center promoting its robotic surgery system to holiday shoppers at a New Jersey shopping mall.

Then, in December of 2012, I wrote about the mall marketing trend spreading to places around the country.

Now, the New Jersey medical center gets more publicity by discussing some of the marketing magic behind the mall-marries-medical center relationship. I thought I’d done enough on this trend, but ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein today tweeted, “Can’t wait for @garyschwitzer to write about this.” So here’s a little more to put your robotic rage to rest.

HealthLeadersMedia reports:

“This relationship is a tremendous marketing opportunity for Saint Barnabas, and it raises a lot of awareness to a market of people that is extremely diverse,” says Sally Malech, MPH, director of public relations and marketing. “You can’t find all the stores there under one roof in many places in the world actually because it’s a very high-end mall. It also draws a lot of people from Pennsylvania to New York City, so it’s not a local mall that only pulls in the surrounding population.

The marketing department set a goal to have 250 people try each machine. The turnout and response to the display was tremendous. Around 500 visitors test drove the robots that day, and the hospital estimates the display attracted over 1,000 spectators. The mall says the robot display contributed to one of the busiest days it ever had. The display also generated a lot of local buzz, says Malech, in local online and print newspapers, at physicians’ offices, and with the shoppers and retailers.

The synergy between the marketing department and the physicians is what’s been really incredible about the robotic display, Malech says.”

Isn’t that special?  A synergy between the marketing department and the physicians.

Moments after his first tweet on the topic today, journalist Ornstein noted another HealthLeadersMedia story on robots, but with an angle not mentioned in the earlier hospital/mall marketing story, “FDA Probes Docs Over da Vinci Robot Problems.”

And, he asked, “Are mall shoppers told this?”

Let me take this opportunity to re-post links to some of our past pieces on robotic surgery issues:

There’s a lot more where that came from.  I thought 15 posts were enough to wet your whistle.

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