Topol made a name for himself in the 1990s and early 2000s, when, as the cardiology chairman at Cleveland Clinic, he raised concerns about the safety of rofecoxib, an NSAID marketed by Merck that was eventually withdrawn from the market after being linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. He left Cleveland Clinic after going toe-to-toe with the medical center’s leadership about its allegedly cozy relationship with the pharmaceutical industry.
Since then, he’s focused his efforts on advocating for innovative solutions in medicine. Topol currently serves as the chief academic officer at Scripps Health, a San Diego-based health system that treats half a million patients each year; directs the Scripps Translational Science Institute, which seeks to bring breakthroughs from the lab to the clinic; and teaches translational genomics at the Scripps Research Institute.
He's a digital health evangelist who has done a lot to spread the word about disruptive medical technologies to the greater public. He published a book on the subject, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, and demonstrated digital health products such as AliveCor’s iPhone ECG and Sotera Wireless’s VisiMobile on The Colbert Report.
If the digital health revolution is to truly succeed, it will need more advocates like Topol.
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|Meet more agents of change in medtech at the MD&M East tradeshow and conference in New York City June 9–12, 2014.|
[image courtesy of SCRIPPS HEALTH]