Review: Eric Topol’s ‘The Patient Will See You Now’

January 30, 2015 5:57 PM

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Review: Eric Topol’s ‘The Patient Will See You Now’

Eric Topol’s heroes include actress Angelina Jolie and businesswoman Elizabeth Holmes. He celebrates the autonomy with which Jolie evaluated the information about her genetic risk of cancer and made the decision to have a double mastectomy, as well as her impulse to go public with that decision. She chose to use her visibility and the Hollywood culture of beauty-worship to make her medical story headline news and to encourage other women to learn their genetic risks and make the relevant medical decisions. In publishing her story, Topol says, Jolie “symbolized the new era of medicine, whereby access to critical information about oneself — in this case genomic information — leads to the individual’s empowerment to make a pivotal choice that determines one’s fate.”

Holmes, the founder of a company that seeks to revolutionize the technology of blood tests, is another sort of hero, the technological visionary who finds new, digitally based ways to surmount traditional roadblocks to medical testing and get patients their results swiftly. Topol describes the exper...

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