The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

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by Eric Topol, Dick Hill
     
 

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Until very recently, if you were to ask most doctors, they would tell you there were only two kinds of medicine: the quack kind, and the evidence-based kind. The former is baseless, and the latter based on the best information human effort could buy, with carefully controlled double-blind trials, hundreds of patients, and clear indicators of success.Well, Eric

Overview

Until very recently, if you were to ask most doctors, they would tell you there were only two kinds of medicine: the quack kind, and the evidence-based kind. The former is baseless, and the latter based on the best information human effort could buy, with carefully controlled double-blind trials, hundreds of patients, and clear indicators of success.Well, Eric Topol isn't most doctors, and he suggests you entertain the notion of a third kind of medicine, one that will make the evidence-based state-of-the-art stuff look scarcely better than an alchemist trying to animate a homunculus in a jar. It turns out plenty of new medicines-although tested with what seem like large trials-actually end up revealing most of their problems only once they get out in the real world, with millions of people with all kinds of conditions mixing them with everything in the pharmacopeia. The unexpected interactions of drugs, patients, and diseases can be devastating. And the clear indicators of success often turn out to be minimal, often as small as one fewer person dying out of a hundred (or even a thousand), and often at exorbitant cost. How can we avoid these dangerous interactions and side-effects? How can we predict which person out of a hundred will be helped by a new drug, and which fatally harmed? And how can we avoid having to need costly drugs in the first place? It sure isn't by doing another four hundred-person trial. As Topol argues in The Creative Destruction of Medicine, it's by bringing the era of big data to the clinic, laboratory, and hospital, with wearable sensors, smartphone apps, and whole-genome scans providing the raw materials for a revolution. Combining all the data those tools can provide will give us a complete and continuously updated picture of every patient, changing everything from the treatment of disease, to the prolonging of health, to the development of new treatments. As revolutionary as the past twenty years in personal technology and medicine have been-remember phones the sizes of bricks that only made calls, or when the most advanced "genotyping" we could do involved discerning blood types and Rh-factorsδ-Topol makes it clear that we haven't seen a thing yet. With an optimism matched only by a realism gained through twenty-five years in a tough job, Topol proves the ideal guide to the medicine of the future-medicine he himself is deeply involved in creating.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Topol weaves useful knowledge about how to evaluate the choices open to patients into this exciting account of the revolutionary changes we can expect." —Kirkus
Kirkus Reviews
The director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute suggests that in the not-too-distant future DNA testing and sequencing may become available on a smartphone. The former chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and founder of its cardiovascular gene bank, Topol looks to a future in which genomics will be one of the major tools of innovative, individualized medicine. "What constitutes evidence-based medicine today is what is good for a large population," he writes, "not for any particular individual." Not so in the future. The author is aware of instances in which pharmaceutical companies attempt to violate the principle of evidence-based medicine by suppressing negative results. In fact, Topol was the first to reveal "significant heart attack and stroke concerns for both Vioxx and Celebrex," information he published in the New England Journal of Medicine. As a result of his whistle-blowing, he was forced out of his position at the Clinic in 2004, when the two drugs were finally removed from the market. The author explains how "the large-scale randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial performed under the most rigorous conditions" will be superseded by individualized medicine. Sequencing the human genome opened up major new areas of preventative medicine; in the future these procedures will be able to identify medications that will benefit, or be injurious to, a small portion of the population who carry a specific genetic mutation, rather than the population at large. Topol weaves useful knowledge about how to evaluate the choices open to patients into this exciting account of the revolutionary changes we can expect.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452637044
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
03/19/2012
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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From the Publisher
"Topol weaves useful knowledge about how to evaluate the choices open to patients into this exciting account of the revolutionary changes we can expect." —-Kirkus

Meet the Author

Eric Topol, M.D., is a professor of translational genomics and the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California. Trained at Johns Hopkins University, he conducted one of the first trials of a genetically engineered protein for treating heart attacks, and was the founder of the world's first cardiovascular gene bank at the Cleveland Clinic. He lives with his family in La Jolla, California. Reader of over four hundred audiobooks, Dick Hill has won three coveted Audie Awards and been nominated numerous times. He is also the recipient of several AudioFile Earphones Awards. AudioFile includes Dick on their prestigious list of Golden Voices.

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The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution is Creating Personalized Medicine for All 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dr. Topol presents a great argument for the benefit of personal genomics and electronic health records. Far from conspiracy or wild theories against Big Pharma, Topol is a scientist first and gives compelling evidence for genetic testing to revolutionize personal medication and dosing. This may be bit of a tough read for someone without any biology education, but still worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Topol weaves a world that is feasible here and now in his (first!) book for consumers. He goes to great lengths to convince the reader that medicine needs to change and evolve to accommodate the evolution (or revolution!) of those who depend on it. Consumers are becoming ever more aware of their own vitals and this book explains why physicians need to keep up and more importantly...how! GREAT READ!!!
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PokerfaceMom More than 1 year ago
How can a book about the digital revolution not be available in a digital format? I haven't read it yet, so ignore the rating, but one can't post without it.