Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Topol’



The Physician’s New World of Consumer-Driven Healthcare: A View from Eric Topol

September 25th, 2012
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We’ve had a lot of discussions about the waves of changes happening in healthcare, thanks to smartphone- and internet-fueled consumer power. In a recent Popper and Company post, Caroline Popper discussed how consumers’ access to information, expectations from the medical profession, focus on wellness (instead of disease) and determination of value are changing the industry.
 
Dr. Eric Topol, author of The Creative Destruction of Medicine, presented another face of this consumer-driven change; the effects on doctors. In this Medscape video presentation, Dr. Topol suggests that doctors, no longer the sole holder of personal health information, will need to change how they approach their practices as well as their patients.
 
Consumers are getting health information from many sources. For example, companies like Walgreens are increasing the information content of their consumer interactions. By educating its customers on the data generated by the devices Walgreens sells, patients have more knowledge of their own condition – and a knowledge base that does not start with the physician. Thus, the patient enters the doctor’s office with a more thorough basis of information and more challenging questions. This information base may make physicians uncomfortable, just as direct-to-consumer ads from the pharmaceutical industry have discomforted many. But, as Dr. Topol points out, physicians will continue to have an important role; it’s just going to be a different one.’
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Drug Development Gets Even More Personal, Precise and Tailored

March 27th, 2012
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As we’ve discussed, Eric Topol’s “How to Change Medicine” provides valuable insights on how tailoring treatments in the clinic could boost health care effectiveness and lower costs. But we at Popper and Company would like to see industry take an additional step by using the techniques Dr. Topol recommends for patient care to develop drugs more efficiently.
 
The technology Topol recommends to stratify patients could also streamline drug development. In fact, the FDA is suggesting that faster approvals of antibiotics could result from smaller clinical trials that test antibiotics targeted against drug-resistant bacteria.
 
We now know enough about molecular biology that we can apply genomics/proteomics/metabolomics to drug development (DNA screening, identifying and validating surrogate markers, or characterizing tumors by genetic makeup). However, tailored treatments can run into challenges, including  heterogeneity in tumor cells as recently described in the New England Journal of Medicine, that resist even targeted biological treatments.
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