Transformative Trends Include Wrist Monitors

Thursday, Oct. 3, 8:15 pm

The final session, “Transformative Trends in Medicine,” featured Dr. Eric Topol, professor of genomics at Scripps Research Institute.

He took the stage wearing a cell-phone sized monitor around his wrist, with an electric cord jutting out, clearly visible. With the push of a button, he easily accesses invaluable, empirical data about his own health.

ERIC TOPOL

Dr. Eric Topol

“It’s all about digitizing us as human beings,” he said. “You can now measure anything. The watch I’m wearing gives me all my vital signs, such as a computer reading of my cardiogram, for example.”

Soon, wearing such devices will be commonplace, he said. These days more patients insist on knowing as much about their health as their doctors.

There should be no secrets when it comes to patient health, he declared.

“It’s deeply seated paternalism, the feeling that only the doctor knows best,” he said. Through such wearable monitoring devices, “this process of information gathering is going to be taken away from doctors and moved toward their patients.”

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