Eric Topol, M.D., is the director of Scripps Translational Science Institute, which is believed to be one of medicine’s most innovative programs about the digital future in medicine. The book written by Dr. Topol, “The Patient Will See You Now” was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review section on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015.
Commenting on the future of medicine and how it will be administered, he writes, “We are about to see a medical revolution with little mobile devices. Smartphones will play a role well beyond a passive conduit.”
Dr. Topol’s book says smartphones will be used to accomplish what doctors in their offices and at hospitals have been doing for many decades. The author says smartphones will be able to perform blood tests, medical scans and even parts of the physical examination. This is what Dr. Topol calls “bottom-up medicine.”
The gist of this book and its apparent theme is that patients will be taking charge of their own healthcare.
The New York Times book reviewer, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, wrote that the use of smartphones will be like an insurgency. He said healthcare has been “stymied by paternalistic restrictions on patient involvement.”
Dr. Topol writes that there is inequality between the doctor and his or her patient. With the use of smartphones, the inequality will gain balance. Patients will be able to have access to their medical records and even enter their own medical data.
Dr. Topol wrote that he was impressed by the technology that can perform an array of lab tests, which include blood counts, electrolyte panels and blood glucose monitoring.
“Some day all the blood tests that would normally be done in a hospital or clinic laboratory will also be obtainable by smartphone,” says Dr. Topol.
The book is full of medical predictions, and by example Topol writes that “hospitals, as we know them today, will eventually be extinct.”
The hospital bed of the future will be in your home, according to Dr. Topol’s prediction. Dr. Jauhar wrote that Dr. Topol describes biosensors monitoring vital signs by smartphones and transmitting data. He also says smart pillboxes will monitor treatment and a smart floor will monitor a patient’s gait. Doctors already review radiographics by remote locations. Smartphones will allow doctors to make virtual visits to patients. This trend is underway and some refer to it as telemedicine.
Dr. Topol asserts that by the end of last year, 2014, “Nearly one in six doctor visits will be virtual.”
The book reviewer, Dr. Jauhar, wrote that he believed that Dr. Topol’s predictions went too far. Dr. Topol is a tech enthusiast for wireless systems, but it may be premature to believe that a doctor’s hands-on treatment or diagnoses will not be the best medicine.
Dr. Topol believes that the ordering of medicine and lab work will be done on a shared basis between the doctor and his or her patient.
Most important, the book and the methodology of the future takes into account what is now easily understood to be a malfunctioning health delivery system that we live in at the moment. He says that any help whether digital, virtual or otherwise, will be well-received in many cases.
The reviewer, Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, is also a cardiologist and has written his own memoir “Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician.”
Robert Kreisman of Kreisman Law Offices has been handling medical negligence cases for individuals and families for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Tinley Park, Arlington Heights3, Bannockburn, South Holland, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Wilmette, Niles, Park Ridge, Chicago (Edison Park, Norwood Park, Jefferson Park, Polish Village, Andersonville, Roscoe Village, Little Village), Summit, Bridgeview, Chicago Ridge, Worth, Blue Island and Calumet Park, Ill.
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