Wireless offers patients an array of tools and info, but will it lead to better health?
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.