Health News Review
  • Jun 8 2011

    Small town, small hospital example of how robotic surgery is promoted

    Lest anyone think that the recent studies showing how marketing is driving up the use of robotic prostatectomy (see yesterday’s post, “Ads & news (often resembling ads) fuel growing use of robotic prostatectomy“) is just academic hypothesis, let me roll out what promoters often do – an anecdote. After yesterday’s post, a physician (who wished [...]

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  • Jun 7 2011

    Ads & news (often resembling ads) fuel growing use of robotic prostatectomy

    An analysis, “Consumerism and its impact on robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy,” in the journal BJUI (formerly the British Journal of Urology) concluded that media coverage and marketing of robotic-assisted radical prostatectomy on the Internet is more widespread compared to laparoscopic and open radical methods of prostate removal. And that: “Disturbingly, the quality of websites using any [...]

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  • May 23 2011

    Chicago Tribune reports on clinical trial ethics/conflict of interest question

    The Chicago Tribune reports, “Patients at heart of medical device issue: Recipients of life-saving products may not know of potential conflicts of interest when doctors put their own inventions to use.” The Tribune reports that the case they report on: “… highlights the tangled web of interests patients face when they require medical devices …showing [...]

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  • May 18 2011

    Hospital websites hype robotic surgery, ignore risks, influenced by manufacturer

    A paper published in the Journal for Healthcare Quality examined the content of information on 400 randomly selected U.S. hospital websites about robotic surgery. Results: “Forty-one percent of hospital websites described robotic surgery. Among these, 37% percent presented robotic surgery on their homepage, 73% used manufacturer-provided stock images or text, and 33% linked to a [...]

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  • May 17 2011

    Urologists’ report: more prostate cancer surgery driven by more robotic procedures

    “Adoption of robotic technology fueled rapid growth in the use of prostatectomy at a time when the incidence of prostate cancer decreased, investigators reported (at an American Urological Association conference in Washington, DC, according to MedPageToday . They quoted Hugh J. Lavery, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York: “The cancer outcomes and [...]

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  • May 6 2011

    See ProPublica’s breakdown of millions spent by industry “festooning” Heart Rhythm Society conference

    See the latest in ProPublica’s “Dollars for Doctors” series, this one headlined “Financial Ties Bind Medical Societies To Drug and Device Makers.” It begins: “From the time they arrived to the moment they laid their heads on hotel pillows, the thousands of cardiologists attending this week’s Heart Rhythm Society conference have been bombarded with pitches [...]

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  • Apr 27 2011

    Costly, non-evidence based interventions for coronary artery disease

    Larry Husten, on his Cardiobrief blog, reports: Drug-eluting stents (DESs) cost Medicare an additional $1.57 billion per year, according to a study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.…In an editor’s note, Rita Redberg wrote that “it is time to clearly define what the value of this extraordinary investment has been in terms of [...]

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  • Mar 31 2011

    Cardiobrief: Medtronic uses embargo as a “public relations tool”

    On his Cardiobrief blog, Larry Husten gives an insider’s view of the kind of promotional shenanigans some in the health care industry will use to manage news coverage of their research. You should read the whole piece, but to wet your whistle, here’s an excerpt: “Listening to a PR pitch- err, “pre-briefing”- shouldn’t be a [...]

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  • Mar 18 2011

    Urologist confesses he was seduced by a robot

    Maggie Mahar’s Health Beat blog tipped me off about a Bloomberg opinion piece by an Oregon urologist that begins by stating: “The decision to opt for medical care that relies on the most costly technology is often based on blind faith that newer, elaborate and expensive must be better.” Later, he focuses specifically on robotic [...]

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  • Mar 17 2011

    Questions about proton beam therapy in health care industry magazine

    Anthony J. Montagnolo, executive vice president and chief operating officer at ECRI Institute, writes in Trustee magazine, “A Question of Value: Proton therapy’s benefits have a big price tag. Is it right for your hospital?“ Although this is an article and a publication targeted at directors of hospitals and health care systems, what it says [...]

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