Eric Topol on Rock Center

Recently a video came across our desk (from one of our grandparents!) because of the relevance of the piece to what we are doing. It is a clip from a Rock Center episode from earlier this year, in which Eric Topol, one of the leading advocates for digital health in the doctor’s office, demonstrates just how adoption of new technologies plays out in his office. Please take a moment to watch the clip below.

Eric Topol on Rock Center

I’ve seen Dr. Topol speak before, and he does tend to rehash the same examples (ie AliveCor ECG), but he does often make some great points about the future of medicine and the role that digital technologies will play.

A few highlights from this video:

  • Dr. Topol is prescribing applications for patients to manage their conditions
  • He uses mobile digital devices in the office to reduce the costs of care
  • The patient use case is particularly telling. He comments that the integration of these devices into his check up makes the office visit much more pleasant and convenient.
  • Topol believes these technologies make the interactions more intimate, allowing sharing and discussion of results in real time. No need to wait for a lab and then discussing over the phone or coming in for another visit.
  • Finally, he believes many appointments could be done remotely with these devices if patients are trained in their use. This would dramatically reduce the overburden we currently see of medical facilities and save everyone time by engaging in more proactive care. Huzzah!

If you notice, all of the devices and applications discussed are meant to replace/supplement traditional brick and mortar services, especially those that require a technician. Of equal importance in our estimation are monitoring those aspects of clinical care that aren’t related to capturing biometric data, ie the patient experience of illness and treatment. Hence our focus on monitoring lifestyle changes and their influence on symptoms and quality of life, specifically related to mental illness and its impact on overall health.

For some more Eric Topol goodness, check out his TEDMED talk from 2009 (and see how much things have changed over the past few years), and if you are the literary type, here is also a link to his book on Amazon.

At TEDMED 2009

The Creative Destruction of Medicine by Eric Topol

The Creative Destruction of Medicine on Amazon.


About the Author:

RxApps is a new disease management system that prompts patients to monitor their disease symptoms and adherence to their treatment plan on a daily basis. This is done through customizable text message prompts that track relevant health metrics, showing both patients and providers what is effective in treatment, what lifestyle factors may be difficult for the patient to change, and whether the patient is at risk for adverse clinical events such as a hospitalization. We can always be reached at