A 30,000 foot View of Digital Healthcare, With Both Feet Planted on the Ground

September 17, 2012
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The flight had leveled out when the cabin announcement called for a doctor. A passenger was in distress, feeling chest pains. Cardiologist Eric Topol, author of the Creative Destruction of Medicine, answered. He pulled out his smartphone, which had an electrocardiogram attached, and placed it on the suffering passenger’s chest.

The flight had leveled out when the cabin announcement called for a doctor. A passenger was in distress, feeling chest pains. Cardiologist Eric Topol, author of the Creative Destruction of Medicine, answered. He pulled out his smartphone, which had an electrocardiogram attached, and placed it on the suffering passenger’s chest. He quickly was able to assess the patient’s condition: a heart attack.

This is not the future of digital health. It’s happening now, as we learn in this radio interview on iHealthbeat (the California Healthcare Foundation’s radio show) with Dr. Topol; Chuck Parker, executive director of Continua Health Alliance; and Paul Sonnier, our head of digital health strategy.

Here are a few excerpts:

Parker: “Individuals recover better, and it’s less costly, to manage them at home, rather than inside of hospitals or long-term care facilities.”

Topol: [Health apps will cover] “everything from quantifying depression, quantifying your eye pressure for people with glaucoma, brain waves to prevent seizures, asthma detection to prevent an attack. So it’s just going to basically get into virtually every area of medicine.”

Sonnier: “There’s a lot of change happening in our health care systems. There’s a lot of opportunity for consumers to be aware and have very powerful and engaging tools that are sticky. And you have that confluence of factors.”

What happened to the patient on the airplane? What else do these experts have to say about digital health? You can find out by listening to the broadcast here.


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