Health News Review
  • Jan 25 2013

    Week-ending roundup of health care news gems you may have missed

    Flu Follies:  CNN’s Piers Morgan Falls Ill Days After Getting Flu Shot On The Air From Dr. Oz. Should Journalists Cite Material from Predatory Journals? – Scholarly Open Access blog. Eve Harris, who recently took a fulltime job as a patient navigator at UCSF,  published her “coming out” piece, as she calls it -  “Skin [...]

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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 [...]

  • Dec 21 2012

    Texas-sized Battlefield Breakthrough hype by Dallas radio station – proton & robots

    New technologies such as proton beam radiation therapy and robotic surgery clearly offer some potential benefits to some patients (and to some health care providers who purchase these expensive technologies).  That is not in question.  What we write about on this site are the messages that the public may receive only about potential benefits of [...]

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  • 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 [...]

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  • Nov 19 2012

    New York Times “Novelties” story ramps up robotic hype

    A journalist wrote me: “Ack! Another rah rah rah robotic surgery article, this time in the Times.” The blogging surgeon known as the Skeptical Scalpel tweeted: Skeptical Scalpel ‏@Skepticscalpel ICYMI. Robotic surgery puff piece in the NY Times. What draws their ire? A New York Times piece, “When Robotic Surgery Leaves Just a Scratch.” [...]

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  • Oct 3 2012

    How robotic surgery is promoted on the other side of the globe

    Somehow someone added me to the mailing list for news releases from a hospital in Mumbai.  How/why this happens, one can only guess. But if they’re going to send ‘em, I may write about ‘em – even though maybe not with the slant the PR folks wanted. The latest news release from them sheds light [...]

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  • Aug 24 2012

    Robotic thyroid surgery doubles the expense

    To a man with a new hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a hospital and/or surgical team with a new robotic surgery system, everything looks like a prime candidate for the robot. And then there’s this about “off-label” use of the robot for thyroid surgery: Reuters Health reports: “Surgery to remove part of the [...]

  • May 30 2012

    DaVinci robot: “a pseudo-innovation — increases costs without improving patients’ health”

    On the New York Times’ online opinion page, Dr. Zeke Emanuel wrote, “In Medicine, Falling for Fake Innovation.”  Excerpt: “The sleek, four-armed “da Vinci” robot has been called a breakthrough technology for procedures like prostate surgery. “Imagine,” the manufacturer says, “having the benefits of a definitive treatment but with the potential for significantly less pain, [...]

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  • Apr 17 2012

    Fox News’ robotic surgeon medical news contributor

    Fox News uses Dr. David Samadi, a New York urologist and “Chief of Robotics” at his NY hospital, as a “medical contributor.”  We’ve seen and heard him promote his pet approaches in the past.  He did it again this past Sunday, touting his own favorite approach over another approach known as the Cyberknife, along with [...]

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  • Apr 12 2012

    Direct-to-consumer website promotion of robotic prostatectomy

    A paper in Health Affairs – “Direct-To-Consumer Internet Promotion Of Robotic Prostatectomy Exhibits Varying Quality Of Information” (subscription required) – adds to mounting questions about the marketing and promotion of this technology. A team of researchers analyzed claims made in online promotions of robotic surgery for prostate cancer. Excerpts of the paper: “We found that [...]

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