In their continued feature of future healthcare, U.S.News issued this report, which I agree, is the direction that healthcare is facing.

Healthcare of Tomorrow

The health care industry is evolving, thanks to policy changes, societal shifts and technological advances. Healthcare of Tomorrow from U.S. News & World Report examines the challenges facing health care, and how it must change to face the future. See more U.S. News special reports.

Illustration of mobile phone and health

There are now more than 165,000 health-related apps. (Stuart Briers for USN&WR)

As Topol, who is the author of “The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands,” sees it, patients are rapidly gaining the power to generate and interpret many kinds of medical data and will become much more engaged in managing their health. Ideally, he says, the shift “will lead to much better outcomes.”

Indeed, the more than 165,000 health-related apps now available for download go well beyond counting steps, guiding meditations and otherwise promoting wellness. There are now apps that, alone or paired with another device or sensors, take blood pressure readings and monitor blood glucose levels, for example. With the Dexcom G5 app, patients place a sensor just under the skin to take continuous glucose readings that are transmitted to and graphed on a phone, all without drawing blood. And using AliveCor’s Kardia app, patients can touch sensors attached to their smartphones to make sure their heart is in rhythm. Data can often be sent to a provider or uploaded into the patient’s electronic health record for review.

This revolution couldn’t come at a better time, experts say, given a growing shortage of primary care providers and health reform’s emphasis on prevention and improved outcomes. Not only does shifting responsibility to the patient reduce the burden on providers, but also it helps patients stay on top of their symptoms. “Hundreds of people have avoided an ER visit by being able to record and get an algorithmic interpretation of their heart rhythm,” Topol says

Doctors will get help prescribing disease management technology from firms like iPrescribeApps, a service that iMedicalApps is rolling out later this year. The program curates apps aimed at conditions from asthma to diabetes to obesity that have been shown in trials to be effective; doctors can quickly choose and prescribe one to a patient, who then receives instructions. “We need to give ownership of health back to patients,” Husain argues. Technology is showing the way.

In my view of a shift for patients taking responsibility of their healthcare, I published a book entitled “Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist”.  This is available on If you get it within the next week, I will give you a steep discount.