Moving From Digitalization to Digitization in Cardiovascular Care
By: Steven R. Steinhubl, MD, Eric J. Topol, MD
Abstract: So far, the digitization of health care is best exemplified by electronic medical records, which have been far from favorably or uniformly accepted. However, properly implemented digitization can enable better patient outcomes, improve convenience, potentially lower healthcare costs, and possibly lead to much greater physician satisfaction. Precision (also known as personalized or individualized) medicine is frequently discussed today, but, in reality, it is what physicians have attempted to do as best they could for millennia. But now we have new tools that can begin to give us a much more high-definition view of our patients; from affordable and rapid genetic testing to wearable sensors that track a wide range of important physiologic parameters continuously. Although seemingly counterintuitive, the digitization of health care can also markedly improve the physician-patient relationship, allowing more time for human interaction when care is bolstered by digital technologies that better individualize diagnostics and treatments.
(J Am Coll Cardiol 2015;66:1489–96) © 2015 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.