FAQs

Patient9 helps you choose which medical device is best for you.

Most patients don’t even realize there are a number of choices when it comes to selecting a heart valve, pacemaker, artificial hip, gastric balloon for treating obesity, etc.

Incorporating a medical device into your life is a decision that will directly and permanently impact your health and your life. Shouldn’t you be involved in the decision as to which product is best for you? We’re here to help patients “level the playing field” by making available to you much of the same information doctors have when they make decisions about which device is “best” for you. On top of that, we provide you with reviews by patients of the operations they’ve had or the medical implants they live with, something doctors (and hospitals) virtually never do. Ultimately, we want to help you have an informed conversation with your doctor about the best treatment options for you.

Do not assume that a medical device which has successfully completed the FDA review process is something that effectively treats what it is meant to treat. In fact, the vast majority of marketed devices in the United States circumvent the stringent FDA rules for “Approval” and instead they get “Clearance”. This means the device is “substantially as safe and effective” as a similar device already on the market, but not necessarily any better. The result – lots of competing products to treat the same condition, all of them vying for your doctor’s attention.

That’s where we come in. We comb the scientific literature for all the studies published by scientists, researchers, and doctors to determine if there is reasonable scientific evidence to show that one product is really better than another. Sometimes, one or more products in a category are clearly superior to all others. Sometimes they are indistinguishable in terms of their long term clinical outcomes, but they may have features that make them easier to use or somehow more attractive than their competitors. We’ll tell you about those as well.

It’s important to remember that the United States is the only profit driven healthcare system in the world. Doctors, Hospitals, and Ambulatory Surgery Centers are businesses. Sad to say, but a Neurosurgeon once said to me “The spine is not made of bones, it’s made of dollars.” Despite some of the slickest advertising campaigns around that talk about how much they care about their patients, the reality is that some (not all) doctors and hospitals just think of you as “revenue”. To be more specific, doctors and hospitals sometimes have incentives to choose one medical device over another. Some pay them better, others cost them less, and still others save them time. Ask your doctor to disclose whether they participate in any “gainsharing” arrangements that provide the doctor with a financial incentive to use one product over others.

Even if we put potential financial conflicts aside, another important factor to consider is how doctors make “scientific” decisions. They sometimes treat a disease based upon raw science and not “real life”. For example, when evaluating devices for treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), doctors consider things like “lower esophageal sphincter pressure” and “time spent with a pH below 4.” Do those things really matter to you, or do you really only care about whether or not your heartburn goes away?

And sometimes it just comes down to how easy and convenient something is for the doctor. Well, which is more important? Something that saves the doctor ten minutes on the day of surgery? Or something that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life?

The bottom line – some doctors and hospitals choose what’s best for them, and many don’t want you to have any voice at all in that decision.

No. We don’t sell you anything, nor do we earn commissions by referring you to someone who will sell you something. We pay our bills by allowing our partners to display their own educational content to you, or linking back to their sites. That way, you can have multiple perspectives to consider when making decisions so important to your health.

We don’t do our own testing of devices, implants, or surgical techniques, but rather we comb the scientific literature commonly used by doctors, researchers, and scientists and then “translate” all that scientific jargon into something the rest of us can understand. Our team includes our own doctors, scientists, and researchers with decades of experience doing exactly this type of analysis. The only difference is that we all used to do it for hospitals, now we do it for patients like you.

Like all research upon which our work is based, there is no “best” or “right” choice for all people in all situations. We’re just sharing the best available information in the best way we know how. Perhaps even more importantly, patient reviews on our site can tell you what patients think about their particular operation or medical device, just like on Amazon, Yelp, Google, or other review websites.

No. The information provided by Patient9 is highly perishable and reflects the available information identified at the time the post was prepared. The comments and opinions expressed were accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of preparation, but are subject to change if and when new information is published.

Information was identified through searches and compiled from the available published peer-reviewed scientific literature, conference proceedings, regulatory agencies, trade publications, World Wide Web sites, and manufacturer information.

Our assessments related to clinical comparisons summarize identified clinical literature we considered relevant to the topic. We reviewed the clinical literature in various forms, to provide information about the intended use of this technology and the claims made about the technology’s safety and efficacy.

These forms include: full articles, article abstracts, FDA Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data, and/or conference abstracts or posters. Certain sources of information (e.g. abstracts of clinical studies and posters) typically do not provide complete information by which to assess the study design or validity of the full results of a study. Therefore, results presented in these sources of information must be considered with caution.

Any and all product claims described in our assessments related to any clinical comparison were made by the manufacturer in materials it has presented or published about its products. Our descriptions of these claims do not imply any endorsement or agreement.

This clinical comparison of individual assessments is not intended to provide specific guidance for the care of individual patients. Patient9 makes no express warranties or any implied warranties regarding the products discussed in our product comparisons, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular use. Patient9 assumes no liability or responsibility for how you use the information, comments, and opinions contained in any of our postings.

The articles and videos we provide are intended as tools to help you better understand some of the options for various options for treating certain medical conditions. They are not intended to replace any discussion, decision making or advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

“Educate yourself. Be Prepared. Avoid Stress”.

Patient9 helps you choose which medical device is best for you.

Welcome to Patient9 medical device review – recommended website for patients. With specific information and tools created for patients and caregivers, you can get educated, reduce stress, and learn what to expect.

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