Health News Review
  • Aug 22 2013

    Medscape asks: “Robotic Surgery: Too Much, Too Soon?”

    On Medscape, an editor and a surgeon published a slide show series entitled “Robotic Surgery:  Too Much, Too Soon?“  (You need to register in order to see it).  Some excerpts: Is Insufficient Training a Serious Problem With Robotic Surgery? Intuitive Surgical is currently facing various lawsuits involving improperly trained surgeons. In a Medscape interview, J. [...]

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  • Jul 19 2013

    FDA warning letter to robotic surgery manufacturer, which complains of “negative press”

    Bloomberg News reports: “Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG), the maker of robotic surgical devices, fell in extended trading after it disclosed a Food and Drug Administration warning letter and reduced its sales forecast. The company received the warning letter July 17, Chief Executive Officer Gary Guthart said during a conference call with analysts to discuss quarterly [...]

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  • Jul 18 2013

    Robotic Surgery Roundup: Take Me Out To The Ballgame and much more

    Robotic surgery systems are spreading so quickly across the US and across the globe that trying to keep up with the news could become a fulltime beat.  Here are just a few nuggets in an attempt to catch up on things you may have missed. The Reading (PA) Eagle reports, “Fans test surgical robot at [...]

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  • May 30 2013

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

    Health care marketing of robotic surgery systems knows no bounds.  At the end of this piece, you can see a list of past posts on this marketing trend. Besides the explosive use in prostate surgery, we’ve seen promotions of robotic “firsts” for: first robotic cholecystectomy first TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) to treat sleep apnea first [...]

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  • May 9 2013

    More questions about expanded uses of robotic surgery: gallbladder and bladder cancer operations

    Laparoscopic cholecystectomy, as Paul Levy writes on his Not Running A Hospital blog, is a surgery to remove a gall bladder using laparoscopic instruments through holes in the abdomen instead of cutting it open.  Lap choles, for short. “So, what do you do if you are a robotic surgery device company that has saturated the [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • Apr 9 2013

    Urology journal publishes papers with questions about robots and proton beam therapy

    Probably the two most frequent subjects on this blog regarding the proliferation of new medical technologies are proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery.  Since this blog focuses on media messages about health care interventions, we generally focus on the marketing claims made for these technologies. The latest edition of the journal Current Urology Reports [...]

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  • Mar 28 2013

    More robots, more uses, more questions

    Paul Levy, former hospital CEO, on his Not Running a Hospital blog, writes, “More robots, more questions.” The topic this time:  robotic partial knee replacement surgery.  In it, he links to the BioLogic Equity Research site, and its article, “Anatomy of a Deceptive Direct to Consumer Robotic Surgery Marketing Campaign.” Then, days later, Levy blogged, [...]

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  • Mar 26 2013

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

    The Boston Globe reports that: Reports of complications from robot-assisted surgery are rising, according to Massachusetts health officials who sent hospitals an “advisory” letter last week alerting them about their safety concerns. In some cases, it appears that doctors have used the aggressively marketed robots to perform hysterectomies and colorectal operations that were too complex [...]

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  • Mar 16 2013

    Ob-Gyns’ statement on robotic hysterectomy

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement on robotic surgery this week that concluded: Aggressive direct-to-consumer marketing of the latest medical technologies may mislead the public into believing that they are the best choice. Our patients deserve and need factual information about all of their treatment options, including costs, so that they [...]

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