People have begun to better monitor and manage their health by taking advantage of a vast array of cutting-edge technologies that offer an unprecedented view into their bodies. Michael Snyder, a molecular geneticist at Stanford University, discovered that he had type 2 diabetes by sequencing the DNA in his own genome and closely tracking changes in his metabolism, protein production, gene expression, and other bodily functions. Eric Topol, a cardiologist who has aggressively begun to use new digital technologies in his practice--he's thrown out his stethoscope for a pocket-sized, ultrasound wand--contends in a new book that no less than a health care revolution is underway. Can everyone take advantage of these new technologies? What do these tests cost and who pays for them? And are there any downsides of knowing so much about our own bodies?
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Michael Snyder is the Stanford Ascherman Professor and Chair of Genetics and the Director of the Center of Genomics and Personalized Medicine. Dr. Snyder is a leader in the field of functional genomics and proteomics. His laboratory study was the first to perform a large-scale functional genomics project in any organism, and currently carries out a variety of projects in the areas of genomics and proteomics both in yeast and humans.
Eric Topol, M.D. is the director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California, where he is a professor of genomics and holds the Scripps endowed chair in innovative medicine. His new book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care, was published by Basic Books in January 2012. Previously, he led the Cleveland Clinic to its #1 ranking in heart care, started a new medical school, and led key discoveries in heart disease.