20 de febrer 2015

Medicine as a data science

The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands

Maybe the title is the most confounding factor of the new great book written by Eric Topol.  Once you have finished reading it, you'll be convinced that he set the expectations to high, ordinary people should develop certain skills beyond their capabilities to apply such concept. I would say that a greater part of the medicine is in your hands, not medicine at all. The rationale behind the book is that medicine digitization allows patients to know more about their disease and how to "manage" it in certain cases. The most important thesis is that future medicine has to be considered a data science. And this is exactly the impact of the digitization of diagnostic and treatment: pervasive application of Bayes theorem in clinical practice, using big data and analytics.(Remember my archimedes posts, surprisingly Topol forgot it).
The book includes many topics that those that follow this blog it would sound familiar, i.e. ch. 4 about Angelina Jolie and BRCA genetic tests, a must read. And chapter 5 is a journey on the new omics of the medicine, a topic that I have also covered in the blog.
Nowadays, Eric Topol is the writer that is able to capture what's going on in medicine and its impact on society. That's why this book is a key reference of our time and I strongly recommend it.

PS. If you don't believe me, check Forbes, NYT, WP, WSJ.
PS. The book is also an invitation to change the current academic programmes for life sciences universities. Better now than later.