For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
As Human Health is Digitized, Doctors Contemplate a New Medical Landscape
As the patient becomes increasingly wired, medicine has the chance to become increasingly personal, according to Don Jones and Eric Topol, who discussed how technology is changing medicine during a conversation at The Atlantic Meets the Pacific forum in La Jolla on Monday.
"The biggest change we're seeing is the digitizing of human beings," said Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. "It's coming into the medical cocoon and shaking up the way things are being done."
Simple phone apps and wireless communication mean a lot of us are already self-diagnosing -- diabetics can check their blood sugar and heart patients can get an EKG on their phone.
"(You will be) bringing things in and demanding your health-care provider deal with your data and that is going to get so that it helps you decide if you're going to keep your relationship with your physician," said Jones, vice president of global strategy and market development for Qualcomm Life. "As the information becomes more transparent and you understand how to interact with it, how you consume health care is most assuredly going to change."
That means doctors have to listen to the patients -- and they give up their grip on auxiliary services.
"This is a whole new day in how medicine will go forward, particularly to doctors who don't necessarily want to participate," Topol said.
Can we get the chance to pick our own radiologists and care providers, on scheduling and convenience and price point?
"An eBay-like market will emerge, but not because of your health-care provider, who wants to send you to someone they play golf with," Jones said. "It will emerge because of the payer."
The most important question is whether having more information will result in better health.
"This provides the feedback loop for patients -- my patients make their own diagnoses," Topol said. "Here's the question, will it make for durable change in the patient's behavior? We don't know."