Health News Review
  • Nov 24 2014

    A look at robotic surgery proliferation in Denmark

    Frederik Joelving, who once did outstanding work for ReutersHealth in the U.S., recently published a piece on robotic surgery in Politiken, a major newspaper in Denmark. A rough translation of the way the article concluded: “It may be difficult to reverse (the proliferation trend) if the large randomized trials that other countries are doing should [...]

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  • Jul 22 2014

    Robotic roundup: Useful? Or little clinical value?…”robotic invasion”…outpaces evidence

    Here’s another of our periodic roundups of robotic surgery news, some of which doesn’t get much attention in the mainstream news media. Forbes has hosted a little back-and-forth about robotic surgery in recent weeks.  First, Robert Pearl, MD, chief executive of the Permanente Medical Group, included a discussion of robotic surgery in his piece, “America’s [...]

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  • Jan 9 2014

    Newspaper cheerleading for local medical device company on page 1

    I’ve documented a track record in my local Star Tribune newspaper of cheerleading for local medical device companies.  This undoubtedly happens across the US in other local papers but I live in Minnesota and we have a lot of medical device companies here and this is what I see most often. And today the paper [...]

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  • Sep 6 2013

    Insurers doing what feds haven’t in refusing to pay for proton beam therapy

    The Los Angeles Times reports, “Blue Shield of California to curb coverage of pricey cancer therapy.” “As hospitals race to offer the latest in high-tech care, a major California health insurer is pushing back and refusing to pay for some of the more expensive and controversial cancer treatments. Blue Shield of California is taking on [...]

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  • Aug 22 2013

    Selling the Cyberknife on WCCO’s CBS HealthWatch

    I’m watching local news on my local CBS affiliate, WCCO, the other night. And I wake up from the daze of crime and creampuff stories to see that there’s a story about the Cyberknife “radiosurgery” system at a local health care provider, HealthEast. I see brief clips with two satisfied patients, an interview with a [...]

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  • May 3 2013

    Knee replacement surgery isn’t like peeling an apple; things young prospective patients should know

    So I’m watching the evening network TV news the other night – I know, silly me – and I see this commercial pop up that visualizes artificial knee joint replacement surgery like peeling an apple. Now part of the ad pitch is that this is for “partial knee replacement.” You know what?  Partial or not, [...]

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  • Apr 17 2013

    How “groundbreaking” are skin cholesterol tests?

    In a week in which we already wrote about US drug stores giving out free statin drugs, we thought readers might be interested in how a new (new-ish) skin cholesterol test is being marketed, and how some Canadian drug stores are getting in on the act. Someone in Canada sent me the following news release: [...]

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  • Mar 11 2013

    PREVAIL trial’s tangled mess of news release, broken embargo, confusion over heart device data

    This is an updated version (on March 17) of the post that first appeared on March 11 – with new information. While the big American College of Cardiology conference was going on more than a week ago, you may have missed how a tangled mess in the way health care news is disseminated was on [...]

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  • Jan 3 2013

    Cyberknife ads – one example of increasing excess of hospital marketing

    We’ve been following claims for Cyberknife “knife-less surgery” for a long time.  See search results from our blog. We’ve seen billboards promoting it in the metropolitan health care market we live in.   And big East Coast medical centers promoting it at subway stops. But only recently did we start noticing many TV commercials promoting [...]

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  • Dec 6 2012

    Incomplete MPR reporting on Mayo prostate cancer scan

    I’m a big fan of Minnesota Public Radio and usually a big fan of their health care news coverage. They’ve done some bold and innovative coverage in recent years. But when I heard (on the radio) and saw (online) MPR’s story, “Prostate cancer scan advance helps Mayo doctors with early detection,” I saw some red [...]

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