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

by Eric Topol

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition, Revised and Expanded)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465061839
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 08/13/2013
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition, Revised and Expanded
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 138,447
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Eric J. Topol, M.D., is the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and co-founder and vice-chairman of the West Wireless Health Institute in La Jolla, California. He is a practicing cardiologist at the Scripps Clinic and a professor of genomics at The Scripps Research Institute. One of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine, Topol was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has led many of the trials that have shaped contemporary treatment for heart disease.

Table of Contents

PART I: Setting the Foundation
1. The Digital Landscape: Cultivating a Data-Driven, Participatory Culture
2. The Orientation of Medicine Today: Population Versus Individual
3. To What Extent Are Consumers Empowered? Clicks and Tricks

PART II: Capturing the Data
4. Physiology: Wireless Sensors
5. Biology: Sequencing the Genome
6. Anatomy: From Imaging to Printing Organs
7. Electronic Health Records and Health Information Technology
8. The Convergence of Human Data Capture

PART III: The Impact of Homo Digitus
9. Doctors with Plasticity?
10. Rebooting the Life Science Industry
11. Homo Digitus and the Individual

What People are Saying About This

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


Eric Topol, M.D. / Q&A for

In The Creative Destruction of Medicine, you argue that radical innovation and a true democratization of health care are within reach, but only if we consumers demand it. Why now?
Current medical practice is paternalistic, "Doctor Knows Best" because patients do not really have access to their own data. That is radically transformed in an era of wearable biosensors that connect to your smartphone, and rapid, affordable whole genome sequencing. The opportunity to know so much about the medical essence of oneself is going to be unprecedented...and we are well on our way now. No one has more vested interest in one's health than the individual. And finally each individual will have access to virtually everything that makes him or her tick!

What must consumers do now to make these changes happen?
Start by getting educated about the new options. About genomics and how each drug one takes interacts with your DNA—to avoid serious side effects or to make sure that the drug will actually work...and at the right dose. About which sensors can be used to track heart rhythm, sleep brain waves, glucose and virtually every physiologic metric. Moreover, start getting access to all of your office visit notes, lab tests, scans (including copies of the image and dose of radiation you were exposed to), and know that if you or a loved one develops cancer that only by request for some tissue to be frozen will proper DNA sequencing be possible. Most importantly engage with your social network to create and sustain a real consumer health revolution.

Why is the current medical community so resistant to change?
The medical profession is ultra-conservative. It took 20 years in the early 1800s for doctors to accept the use of a stethoscope, and not much has changed 200 years later. This will all happen eventually—it is inevitable—but we can't afford for individuals not to get optimal care and prevention NOW. And much of the innovations have the potential to markedly lower the costs of care, by making it much more precise, individualized, and ultimately preventive.

What other obstacles are there?
The regulatory agencies such as the FDA, which are especially risk-averse. The life science industry which has to reboot to develop therapies that are not for mass medicine, but now for highly select patients. That requires new models of clinical trials and new expectations for overwhelming effectiveness—now that we can digitize each human being. And a key caveat is that the doctor is involved as a partner, and does not treat the DNA, the scan, or the laboratory test—but treats the patient.

Would you expect such a transformation to dramatically lower insurance costs?
In the past, new technology has not lowered costs. But in the early going of this digital medical era (in its nascent phase) we are seeing exciting signs of frugal innovation, such as a portable high resolution pocket ultrasound device which should be part of the physical examination and could cut billions of dollars of unnecessary ultrasound scans each year. And wireless tracking of heart rhythm to avoid emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

How would patient privacy be assured in a world where every heartbeat is being recorded?
Once anything is digitized, there is a concern about hacking, leaking and a breach of privacy. The only approach that makes sense is that this has to be overwhelmingly positive and effective, while at the same time the risks of any leak of data be minimized to the nth degree.

What makes you so optimistic about this coming revolution?
This is unquestionably the most exciting time in medicine—as a physician and researcher for almost three decades—there has never been this potential for a radical change and upgrade of how we can render health care. And at the same time these incredible innovations are blossoming, the power of the people has soared to heights that were previously unimaginable. In parallel, and concurrently, a digital revolution that finally strikes medicine (it has hit virtually every other aspect of our lives) and a social revolution that has made things happen like the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street—we are well positioned for a creative destruction and rebooting of medicine going forward.

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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! 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.