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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  • Oct 2 2014

    More conflicted, imbalanced prostate information from FOX News

    Conflicted and imbalanced because they let Dr. David Samadi, who runs a robotic surgery center in New York, be the unchallenged expert about “raising awareness for prostate cancer.”  In fact, they let the self-promotional Samadi get away with promoting the #SamadiChallenge – which, if you use that on Twitter, will eat up 16 of your [...]

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  • Aug 23 2014

    Robotic surgery company objects to tough journalism; objections & responses posted

    Men’s Health magazine deserves credit not only for its tough story, “What’s Wrong with Robotic Surgery?” by an excellent journalist, Laura Beil, earlier this year.  But when Intuitive Surgical, manufacturer of the DaVinci robotic surgical system, objected to the piece, Men’s Health posted a point-by-point response to the objections. A double dose of good journalism, [...]

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  • Jul 30 2014

    Sit back & watch urologists go at it over robotic surgery claims

    I’m on vacation this week but I enjoyed sitting back and watching a urology kerfuffle over claims about a robotic surgery study and associated news release. Here’s what the American Urological Association (AUA) tweeted earlier today.  The Twitter responses are from a Pittsburgh urologist whose Twitter handle is @daviesbj. There’s a lot going on here, [...]

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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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  • Jun 13 2014

    Robotic surgery news & marketing – misrepresentation of evidence

    “Under the glare of an operating theatre lamp….” Here it comes:  another drooling, fawning news story about robotic surgery – this time from The Guardian in the UK under the headline, “Newcastle hospital’s £2m robot transforms medical operations.” It was surprising to see how unquestioning the story was. The subheadline: “Dexterity of Da Vinci robot [...]

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  • Mar 7 2014

    Robotic surgery roundup: great small paper journalism, new marketing/ad campaigns

    Since I think it’s a safe bet that not many of you regularly read The Bulletin newspaper of Bend, Oregon, I suggest you read a two-part series by Markian Hawryluk as just one indication of the difference one individual can make, no matter the size of the news organization. In part one, “Robot surgery is [...]

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  • Feb 5 2014

    Cancer fundraiser toys with truth in using robotic surgery to get donations

    Canadians may have thought they had been transported south of the border, where robotic surgery is widely and wildly promoted all the time. But this week, for World Cancer Day, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation posted this fundraising plea: The website explains: “Give 6 patients the best surgery while changing cancer care internationally with your [...]

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  • Jan 22 2014

    Paul Levy says someone should be fired – and he suggests who – for NYT daVinci ad

    Former hospital CEO Paul Levy continues his relentless questioning about the proliferation and marketing of robotic surgery systems with a blog post entitled, “Time to fire somebody.” It’s about an ad in the Sunday New York Times magazine. The ad was placed by da Vinci Surgery (or Intuitive) – the robotic surgery system company. But [...]

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  • Dec 6 2013

    Robotic surgery recall prompts “dear reporter” message from ex-hospital CEO

    Paul Levy, former medical center CEO, blogs, “Dear health care reporters: Look this way.” He points to Bloomberg’s continued coverage of questions about robotic surgery systems, including this week’s news about “an urgent recall” because of systems stalling during operations. And his note to reporters: “…the recall affects 1,386 of the systems worldwide.  You’d think [...]

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