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Deep Medicine

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Deep Medicine

How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again

Basic Books,

15 min read
9 take-aways
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What's inside?

Cardiologist Eric Topol explains how to leverage AI to make health care human again.

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Editorial Rating



  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary
  • Engaging


In lay terms, cardiologist Eric Topol describes advanced technologies and offers a balanced view of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine. Each chapter begins with various miracles attributable to AI – for instance, rare disease identification and the formulation of new drugs – and then describes AI’s shortcomings and likely futures with respect to health care. Topol argues that the best outcomes stem from collaboration between doctors and AI. He implores decision makers to leverage AI immediately for routine health care tasks – chores that consume doctors’ time and hamper their efforts to build trusting, caring relationships with patients. 


To fix health care, Americans need big data, deep machine learning and, most critically, human empathy.

Over the past several decades, the US health system has grown more expensive and less effective. In 2017, health care surpassed retail as the biggest business in the United States and is its largest employer. Most patient complaints center on the lack of personalized care. Doctors and nurses no longer have the time, interest or empathy needed to build patient relationships.

The United States today practices “unintelligent medicine.” It ranks a distant last among OECD nations in terms of quality.

The United States spends more money overall and more per capita than any OECD nation. Unintelligent, or “shallow medicine” costs more and delivers less because it replaces understanding the whole person with diagnosing via the latest widget. The status quo leads to massive overprescribing of procedures and drugs. Astonishingly, up to 33% percent of all medical procedures in the United States turn out to be unnecessary. Prescribed drugs help only about 25% of the patients who take them. Patients...

About the Author

Eric Topol, MD, is a world-renowned cardiologist, executive vice president of Scripps Research, founder of a new medical school and one of the top 10 most-cited medical researchers. He also wrote The Patient Will See You Now and The Creative Destruction of Medicine.

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