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CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, August 19, 2014

Long wait times are one of the drivers behind telehealth. To illustrate the point, Topol displayed wait times to see a primary care doctor in various cities. Boston topped the list at 66 days on average. A recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report suggests that by the end of this year, one in six visits will be virtual.


Slideshow

>>>View CFO Exchange Slideshow

What Consumers Want. When They Want It.
There's a tongue-tying acronym for this consumer-driven phenomenon – IWWIWWIWI. "I want what I want when I want it." It started in the fashion world and is disrupting many industries besides healthcare. "Everything else is on demand," Topol said. "Your groceries can be delivered to your door within an hour, and so can your healthcare."

Topol is no stranger to readers of HealthLeaders. He's not just a practicing cardiologist, but also holds prestigious positions at the Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Health, and— vested interest alert— took the role of AT&T's chief medical advisor this year. Two years ago, I reviewed his book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine.

Topol's next book, on the democratization of medicine, is in the works. It should arrive just in time to see the next wave of sensors, health-aware smartphones and, not long after, technology to let smartphones X-ray patients, Topol said.

The lion's share of healthcare data, he believes, will be patient-generated. (I'll believe patients taking their own X-rays when I see it, however.)

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4 comments on "CFO Exchange: Smartphones Poised to Disrupt Healthcare, Says Topol"


Lizzie Watson (8/21/2014 at 4:42 PM)
The fact that I can get lab work done with only a drop of blood is very exciting! It will be interesting to see how the healthcare industry evolves and adapts with the rapid growth of new technology.

bettynoyes (8/21/2014 at 12:58 PM)
I am delighted to again read that this may really become a reality!!! Your Headline title was concerning.. I was worried you were going to be negative! :-)

ronhammerle@gmail.com (8/20/2014 at 11:21 AM)
When Mr. Bell met Dr. Welby at the beginning of the 20th Century, the telephone transformed the way doctors and patients connected even when the only public phone in town was at the corner drugstore. Everyone benefited, including a small company called Walgreens. Now, a century later, physicians and patients are again finding a new, "intermediate" way to connect by phone through the corner drugstore, but this time there are more corner drugstores[INVALID]-at the Walgreens Health Alliance and Walmart. Instead of making multiple trips to have lab work and imaging done, pick up a prescription and lease a wheelchair, orthopedic boot or a more sophisticated monitoring device, patients will be able to do all of this with one stop. Ron Hammerle Chairman and CEO Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida