Thursday, March 8, 2012
How Doctors will Monitor Your Health in the Future
As many of you know, I've recently been getting interested in gadgets for monitoring health. There was an interesting article on Gizmodo today about how technology is changing healthcare. It is an excerpt from the book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care For Everyone by Dr Eric Topol. I saw Dr. Topol speak at CES in January, and he and Dr Reed Tuckson represented slightly differing views of how technology is affecting healthcare and what we should do about it. Dr Topol captured my imagination with the possibilities that new technology brings us. The excerpt gives a little flavor of this (http://gizmodo.com/5891405/tomorrows-mobile-doctors-will-monitor-your-stats-from-anywhere). I must say, however, that it was Dr. Tuckson (an amazing speaker) who brought me back to reality saying that if you look into it, you find that the biggest contributor to rising health care costs is technology. These gadgets are expensive. He suggests that, while he likes gadgets as much as the next guy, we shouldn't all get caught up in the latest health gizmo craze, but instead focus on the things that provide real, measurable benefit. His book, The Doctor in the Mirror: Living a Longer Healthier, More Joyful Life Starts with You suggests that we will have access to more and more information about ourselves based on widely available inexpensive sensors and the huge amount of information available on the internet. It is unlikely that a doctor, who is essentially paid for the time spent with you in the office and rarely the time spent researching your case, will act more and more as an advisor to help you make sense of the information you are able to gather about yourself. Your relationship with your doctor will likely (in good cases) turn much more collaborative. Together you will sift through the evidence. You will do most of the legwork yourself and the doctor will help interpret and prescribe when appropriate. Still the main responsibility is yours.
I haven't read either book yet, but the both look to be quite interesting.
You can get a taste for Dr. Topol's book in the Gizmodo article here.
For those of you who are interested, you can get them on Amazon
The Doctor in the Mirror: Living a Longer Healthier, More Joyful Life Starts with You