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

February 24, 2012
Author:
Eric Topol, M.D.
Publisher:
Basic Books (1/31/2012)

What if your cell phone could detect cancer cells circulating in your blood or warn you of an imminent heart attack? Mobile wireless digital devices, including smartphones and tablets with seemingly limitless functionality, have brought about radical changes in our lives, providing hyper-connectivity to social networks and cloud computing. But the digital world has hardly pierced the medical cocoon.

Until now. Beyond reading email and surfing the Web, we will soon be checking our vital signs on our phone. We can already continuously monitor our heart rhythm, blood glucose levels, and brain waves while we sleep. Miniature ultrasound imaging devices are replacing the icon of medicine — the stethoscope. DNA sequencing, Facebook, and the Watson supercomputer have already saved lives. For the first time we can capture all the relevant data from each individual to enable precision therapy, prevent major side effects of medications, and ultimately to prevent many diseases from ever occurring. And yet many of these digital medical innovations lie unused because of the medical community’s profound resistance to change.

In The Creative Destruction of Medicine, Eric Topol — one of the nation’s top physicians and a leading voice on the digital revolution in medicine — argues that radical innovation and a true democratization of medical care are within reach, but only if we consumers demand it. We can force medicine to undergo its biggest shakeup in history. This book shows us the stakes — and how to win them.