Harvard medicine professor: Tech won’t revolutionize care

See on Scoop.ithealthcare technology

While hailed many in the healthcare community, Eric Topol’s book, “The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care,” is not universally accepted by all medical professionals as an outline for the future of patient care. One of those detractors, Harvard Medical School professor emeritus of medicine and social medicine Arnold Relman, expressed doubt that patients would be as motivated to participate in their own care as the book portends in a panel discussion hosted on National Public Radio last week.


“I think however dazzling and impressive this new technology is, I don’t think it’s going to revolutionize the practice of medicine the way Eric suggests,” Relman, a former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine who became a physician in 1946, told NPR. “I think that medicine is not going to go away, and I think that we will still need the person-to-person contact between well-informed, compassionate doctors and their patients.”


Despite himself calling the book a “tour de force of useful new information,” Relman also took issue with Topol’s points about genomic information enabling providers to deliver more personalized care. Diseases like asthma and diabetes, Relman said, are “multi-factorial” and thus, cannot be predicted by single gene mutations.


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