Health News Review
  • Dec 19 2012

    A new holiday tradition: See Santa & surgical toyland in the mall

    We wrote about this one year ago, “Come to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap…or play with his robotic surgery system.” So, I guess, two years running makes a tradition. That was about some New Jersey doctors playing with their robot at a New Jersey mall.  It must have been a big hit for the sponsoring medical center, because they’re doing it again this year in the same mall.   Love this quote: Larry Batille, who works in the mall,…

  • May 2 2013

    Marketing marriage made in heaven (?) – medical center & mall & surgical robots

    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 I̵…

  • Dec 16 2011

    Come to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap…or play with his robotic surgery system

    The Watchdog’s elves are everywhere this Christmas season, and one of them reports that a New Jersey medical center is promoting its robotic surgery system in a very upscale mall. This particular elf took a photo to send to Watchdog Santa. It turns out that a local news website added to the medical center’s free publicity.  The story states that local doctors demonstrating the robotic system claimed: “robotics has really chang…

  • Dec 22 2011

    Unwrapping early presents, wrapping up ’11 Health Wonk Review series

    … stuff: I don’t know how anyone could ever call me a “wonk” after reading all of the stuff above, but I have been called that. About as wonkish as I get is to ask shoppers whether they want to spend their time at the shopping mall sitting on Santa’s lap or testing the local medical center’s robotic surgery system. Or posting about a year’s worth of health care news releases promoting “Chocolate, seaweed, omega-3, antioxidants, laser toenail fungu…

  • May 14 2013

    News story shines light on hospitals promoting questionable screenings

    …Assistant Director at the National Cancer Institute. During the visit a marketing executive explains to Brawley the publicity value and financial rewards of a free prostate screening program offered by the hospital at a local mall. The plan is to screen the first 1,000 men over 50 who come to the mall for testing. I’ve transcribed Brawley’s recollections from the video and they provide a great explanation for the profit-driven practices that cont…

  • Apr 11 2011

    Silly WSJ.com videos present claims but no scientific evidence

    …t it hasn’t always been this way at the Wall Street Journal. It wasn’t that long ago that the print edition even questioned Dr. Perricone’s claims on page one! As in: “New Wrinkle — Hot at the Mall: Skin-Care Products From Physicians; ‘Cosmeceutical’ Creams Tap Antiaging Market; Questions About Claims; Dr. Perricone’s TV Specials” – Wall Street Journal. Nov 14, 2003. p. A.1 Excerpt:…

  • Mar 26 2013

    Robotic surgery safety/marketing concerns in Boston Globe & NY Times stories

    …230;the manufacturer and hospitals heavily advertise the technology as reducing complications and speeding recovery. Brigham and Women’s Hospital last fall allowed shoppers to “test drive” a robot outside Macy’s at the Natick Mall, by sitting at the console and manipulating the arms. Community hospitals have jumped on the bandwagon, too. St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford invited the public to get behind the controls of its new robot in January, …

  • May 21 2012

    “Outrageous…an earthquake…an enormous game changer” – but it was there for all to see for 7 months!

    … How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. “The marketing guy was really proud of his prostate-cancer-screening business plan,” Brawley told Shots. “If they screened 1,000 men at the mall … they got 135 guys coming in [to the hospital's clinics] to figure out why they had an abnormal test. And they would end up collecting an average of $3,000 per guy off of that.” From there, many biopsies wo…

  • May 30 2013

    To a man with a new hammer….marketing claims of robotic “firsts” piling up

    …ther side of the globe Robotic surgery safety/marketing concerns in Boston Globe & NY Times stories “Gizmo idolatry,” robotic prostatectomy, and real data Marketing marriage made in heaven (?) – medical center & mall & surgical robots Hospital websites hype robotic surgery, ignore risks, influenced by manufacturer —————————— …

  • Jun 13 2014

    Sam’s Club serves up a Father’s Day prostate special. Such a deal!

    …e a lot of decision-making on your mind as you travel down the aisles of cheap toilet paper, overstocked blue jeans and sweatshirts, gas grills, cameras, tires, TVs, frozen food and more. But we suggest you make your upcoming shopping trip a bit more complicated by considering the bulleted questions above. Or take a look at the infographic below, which the National Cancer Institute offers on its website.  Because I bet you won’t get this ki…




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