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Hearth Rhythm Society Sold Access to Member Information & Tracked Members With RFID Name Tags

Posted May 05 2011 11:12pm

Everyone in healthcare is marketing their ass off even at conventions.  Technology is great if used correctly.  I wrote about this back in October of 2010 and it appears it’s growing and quickly people are getting tired of being marketed in every turn they image make and we will need to start turn off phones and looking for places to hide soon.

When you go to a convention you expect a certain amount of marketing but not to the point to where your location needs to be shown at every second.  Let’s say your are off in a corner on a cell phone calling home and then 2 drug reps find you and stand there until you are done, would you want to run, I would.  Because the companies paid for this information, do the drug or device reps have a right to stand there and wait and corner you?   Anyway, this is back once again to the business of selling information and data. 

There’s nothing wrong with seeing a list of attendees but by today’s standards it went way beyond a simple list and getting contact information, as it included how much time they spent, job titles and so on in real time.  It tends to make people act rudely if they see someone they want to communicate with and brings on an additional level of persistence.  I have been to conventions to where the drug company making bladder control medications plasters their stuff all over the restrooms, to include inside the stall door, figuring  they have a captive audience at that rate:)  BD 

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This year at the HIMSS convention they had the same thing, but I was not there so could not comment but again everyone was upset over using RFID tags on name badges.  Dr. Wes, a cardiologist has figured this out too and has made some comments and this is his medical field. Do we have to be “sold” in every direction we turn?  This discussion though goes beyond the conventions with bigger items though with other compensation items and the show tracking is just an irritant compared to some of the other expenses from drug and device companies that the government is looking at.  BD

SAN FRANCISCO — 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 for drugs and medical devices.

St. Jude Medical adorns every hotel key card. Medtronic ads are splashed on buses, banners and the stairs underfoot. Logos splay across shuttle bus headrests, carpets and cellphone-charging stations.

And at night, a drug firm gets the last word: A promo for the heart drug Multaq stood on each doctor's nightstand Wednesday.

Who arranged this commercial barrage? The society itself, which sold access to its members and their purchasing power.

These companies and others not only provided financial support to Heart Rhythm but paid many of its board members:

Twelve of 18 directors are paid speakers or consultants for the companies, one holds stock, and the outgoing president disclosed research ties, according to the society's website, which does not specify how much they receive

Some deals give companies more than name exposure. Last month, the American College of Cardiology attached tracking devices to doctors' conference ID badges . Many physicians were unaware that exhibitors had paid to receive real-time data about who visited their booths, including names, job titles and how much time they spent.


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