The People's Perspective on Medicine

862 A Doctor in Your Pocket

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Smart phones are nearly ubiquitous, and the apps now available put diagnostic tools right in patients’ and doctors’ hands. You can find out about your sleep patterns with one app, while another one tracks your heart rhythms. Doctors can now get better information from a pocket-sized ultrasound device than from their traditional stethoscope. Will patients use this new technology to get more involved in their own health care?
Cardiologist Eric Topol talks about how new digital technologies will change the nature of medicine by providing better, more personalized information to guide prescriptions. Such individualized treatments could even save money eventually.
Guest: Eric Topol, MD, is the Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health and the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute.
Guest: Eric Topol, MD, is the Chief Academic Officer at Scripps Health and the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute. Dr. Topol is the author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care. His websites include and
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    As a physician i do not agree with Dr Topol’s comments. It does not reflect the reality of patient-physician relationships that is out there. He painted an unpleasant portray of physicians. The truth is that Americans get the best care..a reflection of our solid healthcare and our doctor’s skills and compassion.

    I really hope these genomic-era trends will also be accessible to uninsured people like myself. There are so many “concierge” medical practices popping up that cater to the wealthy who have the ability to pay for top-notch care, but a dearth of services for those who are under-insured or uninsured.
    ALL people can benefit from this.
    Interesting podcast; Dr. Topol makes medicine understandable and accessible.

    Fascinating show. Where can you get a device to measure your heart functions like was mentioned on the show?

    How can we learn more about the sleep monitor the doctor described?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It is called Zeo. Here’s a link:
    We have no connection with this product, and there may be others that are just as good.

    This doctor’s position is in direct contradiction to the warning by Dr. Devra Davis of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences about wireless/cell phone technology’s deleterious effect on human health. A video of a talk she gave to healthcare professionals outlined many research projects with very alarming findings.

    Enjoyed your program today. I have Atrial Fib and Heart Failure. It seems like they prescribe medication-and don’t seem to check if I can tolerate it. What digital Tech could I buy to help me. I have a common blood pressure machine and do take that twice a day. This is not to accurate because of the A-Fib, I can keep taking it until I get the reading I like. Do you have any suggestions? Sue

    I enjoyed the show about medicine coming into the technological age. My physician before I went on medicare was associated with our employer and he used computers, but mostly to write prescriptions because I suppose his handwritting was terrible.
    I had gone to the doctor with my mom and noted that her primary care physician carried around a laptop with him and prescriptions were picked up down the hall from a nurse who monitored all that was in the database.
    So I was surprised when I went to my new younger primary care physician who did everything on paper. Then I went to a specialist and he did everything on paper. I changed primary care physicians to one who was older than I am and he is completely digitized. Yeah.
    I resonated with the vignette where the doctor said his wife usually comes to bed after him. Same for me even though studies say that men usually need less sleep.
    Interesting show. I would love to be able to correspond with my doctors by email, etc.

    Great show Fascinating!

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