Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, and Vice-Chairman of the West Wireless Health Institute
Title of Keynote Lecture: Digitizing Human Beings: A New Medicine
What if your cell phone could detect cancer cells circulating in your blood or warn you of an imminent heart attack? Mobile wireless digital devices, including smartphones and tablets with seemingly limitless functionality, have brought about radical changes in our lives, providing hyper-connectivity to social networks and cloud computing. But the digital world has hardly pierced the medical cocoon.
Until now. Beyond reading email and surfing the Web, we will soon be checking our vital signs on our phone. We can already continuously monitor our heart rhythm, blood glucose levels, and brain waves while we sleep. Miniature ultrasound imaging devices are replacing the icon of medicine—the stethoscope. DNA sequencing, Facebook, and the Watson supercomputer have already saved lives. For the first time we can capture all the relevant data from each individual to enable precision therapy, prevent major side effects of medications, and ultimately to prevent many diseases from ever occurring. And yet many of these digital medical innovations lie unused because of the medical community’s profound resistance to change.
One of the leading physicians in the United States, Topol is a pioneer of the genomic and wireless digital innovative technologies to reshape the future of medicine.
He is a practicing cardiologist at Scripps in La Jolla, California and well known 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.
Since 2007, in La Jolla, he is the Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health, leads the flagship NIH supported Scripps Translational Science Institute and is a co-Founder and the Vice-Chairman of the West Wireless Health Institute. He also serves as Professor of Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute.
Topol pioneered the development of many medications that are routinely used in medical practice including t-PA, Plavix, Angiomax, and ReoPro and was the first physician to raise safety concerns on Vioxx. He has published over 1000 peer-reviewed articles and over 30 medical textbooks. In 2011, the University of Michigan initiated the Eric Topol Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine in his honor and the University of Rochester, his medical school alma mater, awarded him the Hutchison Medal.
He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and has been recognized as one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine.
His book for consumers, The Creative Destruction of Medicine (Basic Books), was published in February 2012.