Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Smart-Medicine Solution to the Health-Care Crisis - WSJ

Eric Topol M.D.

Dr. Topol is a cardiologist and professor of molecular medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego and the author of “The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands” (Basic Books, 2015). He consults for Illumina and Apple on some of the issues discussed here, sits on the board of directors of Dexcom and is a co-founder of YouBase.

Dr. Topol coined the term 'precision medicine', which was co-opted by political interests.

A Diagnosis for Personalized Medicine (a post from May 25, 2017)

Technology, smartphones and accessory attachments offer inexpensive testing platforms which in many cases rival much more expensive ultrasound machines, chemistry panels,  electrocardiogram units.

These new sensor units combined with smartphones will commoditize medical instrumentation. It should lead to a reduction in cost. The main barriers will be institutional resistance to change, a long standing barrier in hospitals and medical organizations.

These small devices, coupled with physician demand for decreased administrative and regulatory burden could lead a marked reduction in health costs.

A sequencing chip from Thermo Fisher Scientific uses semiconductor technology to detect DNA associated with cancer and inherited disease. PHOTO: THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC

Dr. Topol goes on to say,

"At the Scripps Research Institute, we are working with the support of a National Institutes of Health grant and several local partners to develop a comprehensive “health record of the future” for individual patients. It will combine all the usual medical data—from office visits, labs, scans—with data generated by personal sensors, including sleep, physical activity, weight, environment, blood pressure and other relevant medical metrics. All of it will be constantly and seamlessly updated and owned by the individual patient. "

Interoperability and cross institutional collaboration are essential for this to occur, and cooperation will be necessary from health plans to accept these new devices as eligible for reimbursement.

Our health-care system won’t be fixed by insurance reform. To contain costs and improve results, we need to move aggressively to adopt the tools of information-age medicine

The Smart-Medicine Solution to the Health-Care Crisis - WSJ
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