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How Your Smartphone Is Changing Modern Medicine

Dr. Eric Topol demonstrates a mobile health app on a smartphone.

Photo by Canada 2020

Above: Dr. Eric Topol demonstrates a mobile health app on a smartphone.

How Your Smartphone Is Changing Modern Medicine

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Photo credit: Basic Books

"The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands," by Dr. Eric Topol.

The promise of digital medicine used to be that it would make going for tests and doctor visits easier. Now, with technological advances and an explosion in accessibility, it may mean the need for most hospital tests and doctor visits may be eliminated. It may also mean that patients will gain unprecedented control over their health care.

That's the premise behind the new book, "The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands," by Eric Topol. Topol is a cardiologist, professor of genomics and the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla.

Topol said he believes that people will be able to store information about their own health in smart phones.

"Some day people will have all their information, and rightfully holding it," Topol told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday. "This really is a bottoms up medicine. It's a great inversion."

Topol said he envisions a day when people will have a "virtual medical assistant" and that the 12 million medical errors that happen a year in the U.S. can be eliminated.

"We can do a lot better," Topol said. "I do believe the smart phone with this digital infrastructure is going to change the world of medicine. One should have all their information assembled."

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