Every fledgling industry needs a roving ambassador and the emerging mobile healthcare market is no different. Thankfully, Eric Topol, renowned cardiologist, chief academic officer of Scripps Health and professor of genomics at The Scripps Research Institute, has taken up the mantle of leadership for the industry espousing the benefits of mHealth to anyone and everyone that will listen.
Topol, who was recently interviewed by FierceHealthIT, has become the public face of the mobile healthcare revolution. He has emerged as a one-man public relations campaign and spokesman for mHealth appearing recently on several popular television programs with a national audience.
In January, Topol was prominently featured on NBC's "Rock Center" program hosted by journalist Brian Williams. "The smartphone will be the hub of the future of medicine," he proclaimed in the TV interview. "And it will be your health-medical dashboard." For blood sugar levels, heart rates and sleeping habits, Topol believes all Americans should track their conditions through their ubiquitous smartphones and use that data to see patterns and warning signs of illness.
However, he doesn't just preach about mHealth apps. He actually puts them to use. Just hours after delivering a keynote address at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual conference in New Orleans last month, Topol, on a plane bound for Houston, diagnosed a patient with atrial fibrillation using his iPhone enabled AliveCor heart monitor. It was the second time he has done so on a plane.
On a lighter note, Topol was interviewed March 26 by funny man Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." This kind of relatability and humor from a spokesman is needed as mHealth continues to deal with how it'll be regulated and continues to market itself for mass consumption.
The industry couldn't have come up with a more persuasive advocate for advancing the cause of mobile technology in healthcare if it tried. Topol is putting a shine on mHealth to make it appealing and inviting to average Americans. That's the kind of effective marketing the industry needs. - Greg (@Slabodkin)