The Voice in the Ear -- Burt's Blog
<< to Homepage >>

October 25, 2004

The Voice in the Ear
Coming back from the TCT meeting in Washington, I've been reflecting on this whole field of interventional cardiology and how much it's changed since I first got involved in it over 25 years ago. As co-editor of Angioplasty.Org, I write articles and oversee much of the content that appears on the site, but some of my more personal observations don't really fit into the structure of a "feature topic", so I've decided (oh, Lord!) to start a so-called "blog" to talk about issues in the medical device industry and health information on the Internet that I feel strongly about.

For better or worse, here it is. I'm calling it "The Voice in the Ear" -- referencing my many years as a TV director of live medical demonstration courses, such as the ones viewed at meetings like the TCT.

At the risk of becoming too "topical" (I'm referring here, of course, to the so-called controversy about whether George Bush had a wired earpiece during the 2004 debates) I readily admit that I was, in fact, the "voice in the ear" for many interventional cardiologists during the scores of procedures that I broadcast to professional audiences in the first two decades of coronary angioplasty. Our mission was to teach other cardiologists how to do procedures. And when you're in "live broadcast" mode, you must have a means of communicating with the operating physician. So the cardiologist had a wireless earpiece, called an IFB (internal feedback) in his ear, and I could communicate directly (and privately) with him while he was operating on a patient. Obviously, I used this power judiciously, but it was usually to convey such important information as "the next case isn't ready yet, so stretch your discussion to fill time" or "it's getting late and the audience needs to go to lunch, so wrap it up" or "can you tilt the pressure gauge slightly to your right, so the camera can see how many atmospheres the balloon is being inflated to?"

In any case, I was the voice in the ear to many of the pioneering interventional cardiologists, so I thought it would be a fitting title for my ramblings....