This month’s Domain Monitor is a little bit different. We recently read through Dr. Eric Topol’s latest book, The Patient Will See You Now. Over the past few years, Topol has become a “crossover” figure between our insular world of health IT and the more mainstream media. Today he is a widely respected thought leader in the area of digital medicine. In his latest book, he explores the myriad of changes happening to the traditional delivery of medical care, fueled by advances in consumerism, technology, science, regulation…and the list goes on.
While Topol is certainly a visionary, his thesis leaves out some obvious real world considerations about tractability, adoption, usability, health literacy, and more, which ultimately amounts to a sort of a prophetic evangelization of a high-tech future rather than a field guide to the present.
This book is not a roadmap for health executives, nor is it a blueprint for technologists or scientists. That being said, Topol does serve up a complete (if at times off-topic and/or esoteric) survey of the new consumer landscape in healthcare and medicine, along with the market drivers, roadblocks, technologies, and other factors involved. All in all, Topol’s overview of these complex topics is comprehensive, rife with detailed examples of companies, technologies, and concepts throughout.
What follows here is a high level summary of some of the major issues in this book, along with our overall take on Topol’s findings. We have also provided a quick “Executive’s Guide” for those interested in Topol’s work but without the time to pore through the entire book.