The blockbuster drug of the 21st century? That would be “the engaged patient,” according to healthcare IT futurist Dr. Eric Topol.
Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and chief academic officer at Scripps Health, was the keynote speaker Tuesday at the HIMSS convention in New Orleans.
“We're in the midst of the third industrial revolution, but it hasn't hit medicine—yet,” Topol said. “But it will.”
Already, he said, there are a plethora of growing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but devoted solely to healthcare. Mobile applications, as well, are already having an impact, with people monitoring their vital signs, blood glucose levels, performing self-diagnostic eye exams using applications and attachments to smartphones and other mobile devices.