Eric J. Topol, M.D.

Author, The Creative Destruction of Medicine
Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute

The Dean of Digital Medicine and preeminent speaker on the future of healthcare.

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Biography

Healthcare today is in the midst of a thrilling transformation: the rise of digital medicine. Mobile technology and cheaper gene sequencing are opening the door to a whole new kind of care. Patients, who have tools as good as their doctors, are becoming true partners in caring for themselves. Portable devices are taking care out of hospitals and offices and into everyday life. Real-time tracking is allowing patients to monitor their health at any time — not just at an annual checkup. And the combination of personal trackers and individual gene sequencing will finally replace the outdated model of “population medicine” with true individualized medicine.

This isn’t science fiction. It’s fact — and it’s already happening. His dazzling talks take you on a whirlwind tour of the advances in medical technology happening all around you and show how they will transform your health care and your business. Eric communicates the thrill of working in such exciting, transformational times — and the urgency of not being left behind.

Voted the #1 Most Influential Physician Executive in the United States in a poll conducted by Modern Healthcare, Eric is also one of GQ’s 12 “Rock Stars of Science”. He is the author of the bestselling definitive book on the digital-medical revolution, The Creative Destruction of Medicine.

Eric is also a leading practitioner of digital medicine. He is the director of the the flagship NIH-supported Scripps Translational Science Institute and a co-founder of the West Wireless Health Institute. He also serves as Professor of Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute and Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health. He is Chief Medical Advisor at AT&T. Since 2013, he has been Editor-in-Chief at Medscape.

A practicing cardiologist, Eric is widely credited for leading the Cleveland Clinic to become the #1 center for heart care. While there, he also started a new medical school, led many worldwide clinical trials to advance care for patients with heart disease, and spearheaded the discovery of multiple genes that increase susceptibility for heart attacks.

His achievements include the development of many medications that are routinely used in medical practice including t-PA, Plavix, Angiomax, and ReoPro. He was the first physician to raise safety concerns about Vioxx.

In 2011, the University of Michigan initiated the Eric Topol Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine to recognize his contributions. The University of Rochester awarded him the Hutchinson Medal, the University’s highest honor. He also was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

One of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine, Eric has published 1100 peer-reviewed articles and over 30 medical textbooks. His research earned him the title "Doctor of the Decade" from the Institute for Scientific Information.

Credentials

  • Director, Scripps Translational Science Institute
  • Professor of Genomics, the Scripps Research Institute
  • Chief Medical Advisor, AT&T
  • Editor-in-Chief, Medscape
  • Co-Founder and Former Vice-Chairman of the Board, West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI), a wireless medicine institute
  • Chief Academic Officer, Scripps Health
  • Elected to Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • Former Professor of Genetics, Case Western Reserve University
  • Founder, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

Books

The Patient Will See You Now

The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands

Eric J. Topol, M.D.

In The Patient Will See You Now, Eric Topol, one of the nation’s top physicians, examines what he calls medicine’s “Gutenberg moment.” Much as the printing press liberated knowledge from the control of an elite class, new technology — from the smartphone to machine learning — is poised to democratize medicine.

In this new era, patients will control their data and be emancipated from a paternalistic medical regime in which “the doctor knows best.” Mobile phones, apps, and attachments will literally put the lab and the ICU in our pockets. Computers will replace physicians for many diagnostic tasks, and enormous data sets will give us new means to attack conditions that have long been incurable. In spite of these benefits, the path forward will be complicated: some in the medical establishment will resist these changes, and digitized medicine will raise serious issues surrounding privacy. Nevertheless, the result — better, cheaper, and more humane health care for all — will be worth it. The Patient Will See You Now is essential reading for anyone who thinks they deserve better health care. That is, for all of us.

Basic Books (January 6, 2015)

Praise

“Eric Topol has written a must-read manifesto for patients who feel helpless. Filled with knowledge and engaging stories, this book shows how you can harness technology to be the master of your medical care — or at least, a better partner for your doctor. I want Dr. Topol for my doctor.”
— Elisabeth Rosenthal, M.D., The New York Times

“It’s your blood, your DNA, and your money; shouldn’t the images, records, and data belong to you, too? Dr. Topol’s deeply researched, powerfully presented arguments will ruffle feathers in the medical establishment — but he maintains that the new era of smartphones, apps, and tiny sensors is putting the patient in charge for the first time. And he’s right.”
— David Pogue, founder of Yahoo Tech and host of PBS’ “Nova”

"Dr. Eric Topol is uniquely positioned to map out a new era of democratized medicine — a time when each individual will not only have immediate access to all of their own medical data, but even generate much of it and play a principal role in their healthcare.”
— Sanjay Gupta, MD, Chief Medial Correspondent, CNN

“We are seeing a sea-change in medicine. As a physician and a scientist, Eric Topol has been both contributor and commentator to this revolution. The clarity of his vision of the future makes this book compelling reading. I couldn’t put this book down — it has changed my perspective of what is to come.”
—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

“Topol expertly builds upon his earlier path-finding work and explores how smartphone adoption, big data, new digital monitors of medically relevant information streams, ubiquitous computing, and larger networks are all combining to revolutionize health care far beyond what most now expect — with the exciting promise of lower costs and higher quality simultaneously. Coming from a world-class physician with a unique perspective on the rapidly changing nature of medicine, Topol’s prescription for patient empowerment is a must read.”
— Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States

“The most extraordinary time for health care lies ahead. Dr. Topol presents a highly innovative vision and model for how, in an era of big data for each individual, medicine can be democratized.”
— Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts

“Dr. Eric Topol is a pioneer of the medicine of the future and the future is now! Read this book and empower yourself for total well-being.”
— Deepak Chopra

“I have experienced Dr. Topol's healing touch as my personal physician after a 99% heart blockage and in his capacity as cardiology advisor to Men's Health magazine. With The Patient Will See You Now, he's extending his healing powers to the patients themselves. Book an appointment to read it now, and you'll save yourself a lot of copays later.”
— Peter Moore, Editor of Men's Health magazine

“Eric Topol’s book focuses us on the most important development in health care today: putting the patient at the center of everything. This is the pathway to the most effective and efficient innovation, development and reform of health care practices, products and policies globally.”
— Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson

The Creative Destruction of Medicine

How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care

Eric J. Topol, M.D.

Medicine is about to go through its biggest shakeup in history.  Never before have we been able to digitize man, from womb to tomb. Never before did we have the capacity to tailor therapies to an individual and prevent a disease or serious condition from ever occurring in the first place. Now with powerful tools to sequence each individual’s whole genome, capture moment-to-moment vital signs and key physiologic metrics like blood sugar, and exquisitely image any part of the body through portable high resolution devices, a unique and unparalleled convergence of technology affords a new window into what makes us tick, what makes us an individual — at a molecular and granular level. But unlike any prior time in medicine, this revolution is superimposed on a world of social networking, omnipresent smartphones with pervasive connectivity and ever-increasing bandwidth. This great convergence will usher in the creative destruction of medicine. At the same time consumers have an unprecedented capacity to take charge — it is their DNA, their cell phone, their precious individual information. But the medical community is sclerotic , profoundly resistant to change, and unwilling to cede control or promote parity.  Only with full consumer engagement and activism, can the revolution — one that will achieve democratization of medicine — take hold.

Basic Books; 1st Trade Paper, Revised & Expanded edition (August 13, 2013)
Basic Books (Jan. 31, 2012)

Reviews

Why Doctors Need to Embrace Their Digital Future NowWired
Genomics as a Final Frontier, or Just a Way StationThe New York Times
Destroying Medicine to Rebuild ItThe Atlantic
Now for some good newsThe Economist
The coming medical revolutionSalon
ReviewLibrary Journal
Digital DoctoringThe Wall Street Journal
'The Creative Destruction of Medicine'The Boston Globe
Patients Need to Demand, “Show Me My Data!”Slate
Medicine for me, not for the crowdNew Scientist
N of 1Longwoods
A digital examination of medicinenature genetics

Praise

"What happens when you combine cellular phone technology with the cellular aberrations in disease? Or create a bridge between the digital revolution with the medical revolution? How will minute biological sensors alter the way we treat lethal illnesses, such as heart attacks or cancer? This marvelous book by Eric Topol, a leading cardiologist, gene hunter and medical thinker, answers not just these questions, but many many more. Topol's analysis draws us to the very frontlines of medicine, and leaves us with a view of a landscape that is both foreign and daunting. He manages to recount this story in simple, lucid language — resulting in an enthralling and important book."
— Siddhartha Muhkerjee M.D., author of the Pulitzer prize book The Emperor of All Maladies, Professor, Columbia University

"If we keep practicing medicine as we know it today, healthcare will become an unbearable burden on all modern societies in a very near future. We are in a real race between healthcare innovation that can change this worrisome trend and the resistance to change inherent to our healthcare system. In a comprehensive, well researched and thoughtful tour de force, Eric Topol, always a clear and uncompromising thought leader of his generation, challenges us to think about the revolutionary potential of a world where information no longer belongs to a few and where information can be automatically collected from the many to greatly improve healthcare for all. This is a must read!"
— Elias Zerhouni, M.D., President Global R&D Sanofi and former director US National Institutes of Health

"What happens when the super-convergence of smart phones further combines with million-fold lower-cost genomics and diverse wearable sensors? The riveting answer leads compelling to call to activism — not only for medical care providers, but all patients and everyone looking for the next "disruptive" economic revolution. This future is closer than most of us would have imagined before seeing it laid out so clearly. A must-read."
— George Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Director of the Center for Computational Genetics

"Dr. Eric Topol is an extraordinary doctor. He’s started a leading medical school, identified the first genes to underlie development of heart disease, led major medical centers, and been a pioneer of wireless medicine. But he is also a remarkable communicator — one of the few top-flight scientists in medicine to be able to genuinely connect with the public. He was, for example, the first physician researcher to question the safety of Vioxx — and unlike most who raise safety questions, actually succeed in bringing the concerns to public attention. I have known and admired Dr. Topol for a long time. I recommend him highly."
— Atul Gawande, M.D., author of The Checklist Manifesto, Professor, Harvard Medical School

"Health care is poised to be revolutionized by two forces — technology and consumerism — and Dr. Eric Topol explains why. One-size-fits-all medicine will soon be overtaken by highly personalized, customized solutions that are enabled by breakthroughs in genomics and mobile devices and propelled by empowered consumers looking to live longer, healthier lives. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for the ride Ᾱ and learn what steps you can take to begin to take control of your health."
— Steve Case, co-founder, AOL, and founder of Revolution LLC

"In an upbeat, comprehensive volume, Dr. Topol has woven the prevailing technological undercurrents of the post-PC world; its power of many; its Gucci of gadgets; its cloud ecosystem; its ‘Arab Spring’ of apps; and its ubiquitous, calm computing; with the disruptive innovations of biomedicine, to create a compelling account of how this bio-digital transformation will hasten personalization of the highest quality of medical care."
— Eric Silfen, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Philips Healthcare

"Dr. Topol is the top thought leader in medicine today, with exceptional vision for how its future can be rebooted. This book will create and catalyze a movement for the individualization and democratization of medicine — and undoubtedly promote better health care."
— Greg Lucier, CEO, Life Technologies

"It may sound like hyperbole, but it’s true: Medicine is undergoing its biggest revolution since the invention of the germ theory. As Eric Topol writes, thirty years ago, ‘digital medicine’ referred to rectal examinations. Dr. Topol is both a leader of and perfect guide to this brave new health world. His book should be prescribed for doctors and patients alike."
— A.J. Jacobs, author of My Life as An Experiment, The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically

"The Creative Destruction of Medicine is an engaging look into how the discoveries in genetics and biology will change the landscape of medicine. Along the way, Dr. Topol provides a fascinating compendium of stories about the shortcomings of medicine as it is currently practiced and how the revolutionary discoveries coming since the first sequencing of the human genome a decade ago will shape the delivery of healthcare in the 21st Century."
— William R. Brody, M.D., Ph.D., President, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California

"Eric Topol outlines the creative destruction of medicine that must be led by informed consumers. Smart patients will push the many stakeholders in health to accelerate change as medicine adapts to a new world of information and technology."
— Mehmet Oz, MD, Professor and Vice-Chair of Surgery, NY Presbyterian/ Columbia University, author of many You books, Dr. Oz Show

"Eric Topol offers a new and intriguing perspective on how the intersections of medicine and technology could further transform the delivery of healthcare and the role of a patient. He advocates for a future world of medicine where informed consumers are in the driver seat and control their own healthcare based on genomic information and real-time data obtained through nanosensors and wireless technology."
— John Martin, Chairman and CEO, Gilead Sciences

"Much of the wealth created over the last decades arose out of a brutal transition from A,B,C s to digital code. While creating some of the world’s most valuable companies, this process also upended whole industries and even countries. Now medicine, health care, and life sciences are undergoing the same transition. And, again, enormous wealth will be created and destroyed. This book is a road map of what is about to happen."
— Juan Enriquez, Managing Director Excel Venture Management and author As The Future Catches You

"Eric Topol is the perfect author for this book. He has a unique understanding of both genomics and wireless medicine and has a remarkable track record as a charismatic pioneer, visionary, and change agent in medicine. I’m sure this book will reach a very large number of people with information that can both empower and help transform their lives for the better."
— Dean Ornish, M.D., Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, and author of The Spectrum

"Eric Topol is uniquely positioned to write such a timely and important book. He leads two institutions — one in genomics and one in wireless health — that will each play a huge role in transforming medicine in the twenty-first century. From this vantage point, he can see unifying themes that will underlie the coming revolution in population and personal health, and he communicates his vision with vibrant energy. Everyone will want to read this book."
— James Fowler, Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science, UC San Diego, and author of Connected

Dr. Topol believes that medicine, catalyzed by extraordinary innovation that exploits digital information, is about to go through its biggest shakeup in history. His newest book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, calls for a "jailbreak" from the ideas of the past. In the next phase of medicine, powerful digital tools including mobile sensors and advanced processors will transform our understanding of the individual, enabling creative "mash-ups" of data that will spark entirely new discoveries and spawn ultra-personalized health and fitness solutions. And with over 5.7 billion mobile connections worldwide, the mobile technology platform will have a major impact on that vision — leading to what Dr. Topol describes as nothing less than a 'reboot" of the health care system. And we share Dr. Topol’s view that individual consumers have the opportunity, and the power, to increase the pace of the titanic change that’s coming.
— Paul Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, Qualcomm

Topics

Eric tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

The Future of Medicine

How digital tools of genomics, wireless, medical imaging will reboot medicine, empower consumers, cut costs, and, most importantly bring focus to the individual

Innovation in Healthcare

As above, plus the new way drugs will be developed and marketed, how wireless solutions are hyper-innovative and exciting. Exploiting the science of aging to slow the process — impact across all late onset disease including diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, multiple cancers, cataracts, macular degeneration, and others; the emergence of technologies to actually reduce costs in medicine.

Reducing Costs Through Innovation

A look at technological solutions that are lower in cost and will enable an enormous reduction in the costs of testing.

Consumer Empowerment

How patients are gaining access to their own information and will take over the future of health care. The spread of do-it-yourself tests, and genomics; the transformation of the smart phone into a monitor of relevant metrics (blood pressure, blood glucose, many others). Accessing the best doctors without being a Trustee of the hospital; becoming the CEO of your own health care.

Genomics

Learning about your DNA to take the right medicines at the right doses; when to get genome scanning or whole genome sequencing; the relentless pursuit of the genes and pathway underpinning all common diseases; privacy issues; sequencing cancer tumor tissue to individualize therapy.

The New Breed of Physicians

How to start a medical school; engendering plasticity among physicians; getting beyond reimbursement issues back to science and the noble profession.

Leading Innovation and Organization

A major motivational talk about what it takes to go from Great to Best.

Patient Safety

A personal talk on ensuring patient safety with drugs and devices.

Videos

iDoctor: Could a smartphone be the future of medicine?

Digital medical wireless devices and the future of medicine | TEDMed

Feedback

A national association pharmaceutical distributors:
Dr. Topol was great! We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback. Attendees kept talking about the dozens of healthcare apps he mentioned in the days after the speech. The material was fresh and he’s very engaging.

An organization of medical, allied health, and science professionals specializing in cardiac rhythm disorders:
Kelly — 
It was a pleasure working with you on our Opening [ . . . ] session at [ . . . ] featuring Dr. Topol. We had a terrific turn-out and needless to say, the event was a tremendous success! All went well with Dr. Topol’s appearance. The presentation and panel discussion were well received by the audience and the interaction among the panelists was top-notch. The excitement carried over to the meet-and-greet event where Dr. Topol provided a book signing opportunity. Dr. Topol spoke with several attendees during the book signing.



A speciality pharmacy summit:
He did a great job, very excited about his content, sitting on the edge of their seats.

An innovative healthcare products company:
The entire meeting was a big success and Dr. Topol was a big part of the reason why. He spoke for about 40 minutes and was very provocative. The attendees were engaged the entire time.

A large medical technology company:
Dear Eric — Thank you for the finest synthesis of mobile health developments, and one of the best all-around presentations, that our Global Leadership Team has ever witnessed. Your insights were the topic of conversation for two full days, ultimately sending our leaders off to the four corners of the world with a deep understanding of where our patient's lives will connect with us in the future, and how we can best serve them with the technology we have right now.

Most of all, thank you for inspiring my team and validating our purpose: to restore health, alleviate pain and extend life.

A national association representing healthcare product distributors:
With our event over in Scottsdale, I wanted to let you know Dr. Eric Topol did a fantastic job and we were very pleased with how easy he was to work with. Member comments included that it was one of the best back-to-back speaker sessions ever presented at [...].

A pharmaceutical company Just to thank you for your help in organizing Eric Topol to come and talk to the executive team Monday. Great talk and delightful company over dinner. Everyone loved the evening.

Articles

— MedCity News
— Healthcare Informatics
— Elsevier Connect
— BBC
— HealthData Management
— HealthData Management
— Medscape
— Health Leaders Media
— The Wall Street Journal
— The Wall Street Journal
— Bloomberg
— MIT Technology Review
— Euronews
— Health | US News and World Report
— eln
— Forbes
— Wired
— The Health Care Blog
— The Wall Street Journal

"You can get an add-on to a smartphone which does eye refraction and then texts [the prescription] to get your glasses made. If you're an optometrist, you might be worried about that. Or you can get your skin lesion scanned and get a text back quickly that there's nothing to worry about. If you're a dermatologist, that's a big part of your practice. You will be able to take a DNA sequence on a USB port and pop it into your smartphone and get data out of it. It just goes on and on..."

— Wired

"We can start capturing people’s health data throughout their lives—all the little things that have lasting implications. For instance, we can track cumulative radiation exposure from every scan and x-ray. And consider the risk of drug interactions: Every year hundreds of thousands of Americans wind up in hospitals or worse because we didn’t match up the patient genomically with the right drug or dosage. Just capturing those things could save thousands of lives. [...]

We need a Khan Academy for doctors: captivating 15-minute videos on genomics, on wireless sensors, on advanced imaging, on health information systems. These things can revive the excitement they felt as premeds, when they first decided to go into this field. If we can get practicing physicians up to speed and really inspired, maybe we won’t have to wait a generation. I shudder to think about waiting 10 or 20 years for this transformation to occur..."