• Sven Jungmann

“Taking individualized medicine to a new height”

Eric Topol on the wireless future of medicine


In this TEDMED Talk, Eric Topol, MD, discusses the bright future of wireless and remote monitoring. When he gave this presentation in 2009, the current innovations in this area were limited and divided into siloed and sometimes inaccurate approaches. Topol heralds the ability of doctors and patients alike to use smart band-aids or sensors that continuously and accurately monitor various vitals, brainwaves, fluids, blood sugar, activity, and caloric intake/expenditure. The information stream of this new sensor would not only be continuous (catching variances previously undetected), but accessible in real-time and on personal mobile devices.


Why does he consider this game-changing? To explain, Topol gives the example of heart failure, which, at the time, cost the USA about $37 billion per year, 80 percent of which was related to hospitalization (both admission and readmission). This smart sensor measures seven different vitals related to heart failure: heart rate, cardiac rhythm, fluid status, temperature, respiration, oxygen, and activity. His hypothesis, which in 2009 was undergoing clinical trials, proposed that these sensors could improve care and reduce unnecessary hospital readmission in patients with heart failure: “And why is this important? Well, this is the most expensive bed.”


Topol continues explaining how this type of wireless monitoring could not only play a role in healthy pregnancies and better treatment for all chronic conditions, but also advance disease prevention and prediction in conjunction with genomics and other omics.


Eric Topol is a cardiologist, professor, author, and the founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. In his talk, he recognizes the support of the West Wireless Health Institute (now expanded into West Health), a nonprofit organization in San Diego, CA, dedicated to advancing innovation in medicine and to reducing the cost of healthcare.

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