Spark Blog Notes from the Spark Team

February 23, 2012

Consumer Electronics Get Healthier

In a recent New York Times article, health technology visionary Dr. Eric Topol painted a picture of the looming evolution in health care. A digital technology evangelist, he believes mobile is the next big thing in medicine.

Topol is a cardiologist and director of Scripps Translational Science Institute here in La Jolla, and a long-time Qualcomm collaborator. Topol is also something of a celebrity in the medical community—in 2009 he was one of GQ’s “Rock Stars of Science.”

The NYT piece covers a handful of new apps, gadgets and websites for storing and sharing your personal medical data with doctors. It describes a few nifty products like a glucose meter and blood pressure monitor for the iPhone, but also commercial flops like the 99-cent iStethoscope Pro app. Lackluster tech products aren’t the only barriers.

Topol says that “the medical profession doesn’t like D.I.Y. anything…most (doctors) are resistant to change.” But Topol thinks this is just the beginning — and technology will likely transform health care. He explains more in his new book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine. Topol has also demonstrated some more exciting products that weren’t mentioned in the article.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, he showed off AliveCor's cellphone electrocardiogram accessory during the Dr. Paul Jacobs keynote speech. It can let you know in real-time if you’re having issues with your heart. You can watch his presentation here.

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