Dr. Eric Topol has been getting a lot of attention lately for his views on the nation's healthcare system. They are not entirely flattering, to say the least.
His book The Creative Destruction of Medicine is prompting a lot of conversation. Readers of Modern Healthcare and sister publication Modern Physician voted Topol No. 1 among the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives. Topol, who is chief academic officer of Scripps Health in San Diego, and Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder also penned a commentary for this magazine in which they highlighted some of the themes of Creative Destruction.
Topol, a cardiologist, views today's medical complex as “sclerotic.” He thinks the healthcare establishment is dragging its feet on the use of technology and science in the service of the patients. He sees enormous promise in genetics and believes our increasing ability to read the code of life will result in individualized treatment. We will be able to detect who is vulnerable for specific diseases and what treatments will work or won't for a specific person. All of this data will be digitized.
Moreover, he foresees a future in which people will be equipped with electronic sensors to give doctors constant and reliable medical data. Information to assess the effectiveness of drugs, for example, will be available on an unprecedented scale. He envisions smartphone apps that will alert patients that they are about to suffer a heart attack or seizure.