I'd agree with ANON above.....self-monitoring might save you going to the doctor, and possibly you could get an electronic prescription for any needed medicine....but if you need to be cut open and fixed, I think the hospital's going to be around for a bit. Say you're in an accident and broke some bones, or need open heart surgery or even an appendix removed. How will you do that without hospitals?
I don't think it's such a long way, actually, at least for the testing aspects of medicine that doctors' offices or hospitals do. Sure, if you need surgery, you'll still need to have someone cut you open. It's the stuff before surgery that could be streamlined considerably.
I totally agree with the notion that medicine is "stuck in the 1960s," although even that has been slowly changing. One reason why medical care is so expensive, and always becoming more so, is that it's not exploiting the digital revolution like other industries have been. Education and medicine are still amazingly labor-intensive. That's what has to change. If the CE industry were similarly still labor intensive, we'd all be living more like in the 1950s.
Rick, the term 'eradicate' is indeed a strong one. The value-add from sensors & monitoring thereof comes from a wealth of data these gadgets can collect and help the physician to make diagnosis and treatment. There are many such monitoring data that are otherwise almost impossible for the physician / med tech to collect in real time, some of it during the occurence of the medical condition itself (for eg., the EEG ichtal data collection in real time that I wrote about last year):
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said digital medicine would "eradicate" hospitals and make them "obsolete."
This was an exaggeration of what the keynoter, Eric Topol, said. In a note to me Topol said he believes that with the rise of digital health care "the role of hospitals would be changed/limited to ICUs, operating rooms and procedure rooms."
I was aiming to echo the phrase "eradicate disease" and stretched the speaker's concept to the breaking point. My apologies for the exaggeration.