Eric Topol: Technologies, genomics are pushing adoption of personalized medicine

DNA
Renowned digital health advocate Eric Topol said genomics is "probably the biggest [health-related] breakthrough in the last 50 years."

Digital apps, data, virtual doctor visits and genomics. Together, these innovations are giving the healthcare industry one last push into truly personalized care.  

That’s what Eric Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute and a longtime digital health advocate, told the audience at Arizona State University’s McKenna Lecture, according to ASU Now.

Topol told attendees that “genomics is probably the biggest [health-related] breakthrough in the last 50 years,” allowing physicians and researchers to design personalized treatments that target specific conditions. Genomics serves as the bedrock of ongoing research and initiatives directed at precision medicine. In a recent survey, 40% of clinicians and healthcare executives said genomics data will be useful in the next five years.

RELATED: Genomics—The 'next wave,' says Yale CIO

Topol added that smartphones will become the “hub of the future of medicine,” allowing patients to transmit real-time health data to their physicians. Coupled with analytics and artificial intelligence, someday that data will be able to “predict a heart attack before it happens,” Topol said.

Although most in the medical community have embraced the promise of precision medicine, others have noted that challenges associated with transforming clinical care still remain.

Adding to those challenges, President Donald Trump’s $5.8 billion proposed cut to the National Institute of Health has also raised doubts about the future of precision medicine initiatives.

RELATED: Trump’s budget sows doubt about the future of precision medicine, major research efforts

“I think [the NIH budget cut] would be cataclysmic, beyond devastating, since it is not only a profound cut, but it is also coming at an especially momentous time of biomedical research,” Topol told FierceHealthcare earlier this week.

Suggested Articles

An assessment looking at 12 health systems that allow patients to download their health records to their smartphones via APIs finds modest uptake.

The National Institutes of Health-led All of Us precision medicine project has enrolled 230,000 participants with another 40,000 people registered.

Hospitals must pursue a deliberate strategy for managing their public image—and a powerful tool for doing so is inpatient clinical data registries.