Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Atrial Fibrillation Ablation - Marketing Through Scientific Publications?

Circulation, a major cardiology medical journal, just published an article on atrial fibrillation ablation, complete with extensive video - all available for free online. It's an informative piece, but I found myself wondering why this piece was "unlocked" and available to the public for free when the most of the rest of the journal is locked. In the video, the atrial fibrillation magically disappears - I'm not sure how. Was it by ablation? Or did a cardioversion occur that we didn't see? And where is the discussion of potential complications? Should they be mentioned? The viewer is left to wonder if we're watching a promotional video rather than a truly balanced perspective on the technology. Might industry have supported this publication? Or maybe it was the hospital system's marketing department?

It isn't that the article doesn't have value. I just wonder if a new form of critical scientific review or additional disclaimers are warranted when video supplements are added to journal articles now that print-media is nearly obsolete.



Jay said...

I've heard it said before:

If you get something for free, then YOU are the product being sold.


Unknown said...

Wes, I've done some digging on this issue. The AHA has assured me that there is no commercial involvement with this feature. I'm as paranoid and skeptical as anyone, but I think in this case you've barked up the wrong tree.

DrWes said...


Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you "digging" in to this. I still don't understand why this particular feature was "free." Maybe the journal's trying out a new medium, maybe they're just nice people who want to share, but the AMA does recieve revenues from industry and I have to wonder if it's all as innocent as they say, especially after my prior experience with the Europace exploding ICD case report retraction and subsequent republication debacle.

As they say: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."