Cover image for The patient will see you now : the future of medicine is in your hands
The patient will see you now : the future of medicine is in your hands
Topol, Eric J., 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Basic Books, [2015]

Physical Description:
xi, 364 pages; illustrations; 25 cm
Format :


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Central Library R858 .T657 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Audubon Library R858 .T657 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Clearfield Library R858 .T657 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library R858 .T657 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Anna M. Reinstein Library R858 .T657 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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"[Topol is] one of medicine's most innovative thinkers about the digital future.... [A] valuable contribution to a fascinating subject." --New York Times Book Review
A trip to the doctor is almost a guarantee of misery. You'll make an appointment months in advance. You'll probably wait for several hours until you hear "the doctor will see you now"-but only for fifteen minutes! Then you'll wait even longer for lab tests, the results of which you'll likely never see, unless they indicate further (and more invasive) tests, most of which will probably prove unnecessary (much like physicals themselves). And your bill will be astronomical.

In The Patient Will See You Now , Eric Topol, one of the nation's top physicians, shows why medicine does not have to be that way. Instead, you could use your smartphone to get rapid test results from one drop of blood, monitor your vital signs both day and night, and use an artificially intelligent algorithm to receive a diagnosis without having to see a doctor, all at a small fraction of the cost imposed by our modern healthcare system.

The change is powered by what Topol calls medicine's "Gutenberg moment." Much as the printing press took learning out of the hands of a priestly class, the mobile internet is doing the same for medicine, giving us unprecedented control over our healthcare. With smartphones in hand, we are no longer beholden to an impersonal and paternalistic system in which "doctor knows best." Medicine has been digitized, Topol argues; now it will be democratized. Computers will replace physicians for many diagnostic tasks, citizen science will give rise to citizen medicine, and enormous data sets will give us new means to attack conditions that have long been incurable. Massive, open, online medicine, where diagnostics are done by Facebook-like comparisons of medical profiles, will enable real-time, real-world research on massive populations. There's no doubt the path forward will be complicated: the medical establishment will resist these changes, and digitized medicine inevitably raises serious issues surrounding privacy. Nevertheless, the result-better, cheaper, and more human health care-will be worth it.

Provocative and engrossing, The Patient Will See You Now is essential reading for anyone who thinks they deserve better health care. That is, for all of us.

Author Notes

Eric J. Topol, M.D. , is professor of innovative medicine and the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California. Trained at Johns Hopkins University, he conducted one of the first trials of a genetically engineered protein for treating heart attacks, was the founder of the world's first cardiovascular gene bank at the Cleveland Clinic, and was one of the first cardiologists to raise an alarm over the dangerous side-effects of Vioxx. The author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine , he is one of the ten most-cited working scientists, and was named Doctor of the Decade by the Institute for Scientific Information as well as a "rock star of science" by GQ . He lives with his family in La Jolla, California.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Cardiologist Topol plays Nostradamus and Archimedes as he forecasts and engineers a new chapter in medicine. The instrument of his medical revolution is the smartphone. Continuing his discussion of digitized and unplugged health care begun in The Creative Destruction of Medicine (2012), he bashes current medical paternalism and pleads for patient emancipation and democratization. Topol foresees a future medical world profoundly bolstered by wireless Internet, where each individual will have all their own medical data and the computing power to process it. The availability of health records, genomic information, telemedicine, and an expanded role of social networks should boost economical and efficient health care in the future. He envisions smartphones armed with biosensors, apps, and even a lab-on-a-chip instrument that are capable of performing a physical exam, obtaining an electrocardiogram, measuring vital signs, checking glucose levels, and determining oxygen saturation. Small ultrasound devices can already image the heart (making the venerable stethoscope obsolete, according to Topol). All this unprecedented do-it-yourself technology is likened to having an MD in your pocket minus a real doctor's healing touch and concern.--Miksanek, Tony Copyright 2015 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cardiologist Topol argues for taking down the boundaries separating the medical and digital worlds, boldly exploring how patients can shape the medicine of the future. He uses actress Angelina Jolie's prophylactic double mastectomy as an illustration of the power of the individual to change public perception about genetic testing and claiming that every patient now has the opportunity to have their "medical essence" available to them through their "little wireless devices." We are not there yet, but he maps out an ambitious path to hurry us along, calling for patients to be able to access their complete medical record as well as using current "digital strategies" for promoting adherence to all the medications one might be prescribed. The outpatient visit of the future will be equally revolutionized, Topol suggests, with "virtual visits" that he claims will not marginalize doctors and nurses, but rather make them more efficient. The digital age is already saving cancer victims' lives, he says, citing one project in which patients' clinical data and treatment is being shared by doctors to see what works best. Skeptics will have their guard up, though Topol enthusiastically declares that ours is a brave new digital world doctors and patients must fully embrace. Agent: Katinka Matson, Brockman Inc. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Cardiologist/professor of genomics Topol expands on his 2012 The Creative Destruction of Medicine, extending his vision of the role that new technology and genomics can play in the future of medicine. Exploring a personal GIS (a "Google map" of an individual's demographic, physiologic, anatomic, biologic, and environmental data), lab tests and scans by smartphones, electronic health records fully accessible to the patient, costs, and 24/7 medical consultations via mobile devices, the author foresees a "power shift" in which all people have the same access to care "provided they have a mobile signal." Therefore, a "renaissance of medicine" will enable patients to call the shots and make their own choices. The book notes actress Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy after learning that she carried a gene often associated with breast cancer as an example of a person making her own medical decisions despite some disagreement. VERDICT With its many charts, graphs, and citations, this forward-thinking work will appeal to all educated health-care consumers.-Marcia G. Welsh, Dartmouth Coll. Lib., Hanover, NH (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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