Eric J. Topol –

Digital medicine is a new field that got its start around 2007, the time when smartphones were introduced. The connectivity of mobile devices with the internet ushered in technology platforms like telemedicine and wearable sensors, endowing hand-held devices with the ability to acquire images and perform lab assays. This introduced a new path for generating health and medical data—by the individual, in real time, in a real-world environment. Although these features are alluring, the benefits of digital medicine have to be proven through rigorous research, especially validation through randomized, controlled clinical trials. This Focus article, the sixth in a special series celebrating the 10th anniversary of Science Translational Medicine, discusses successes and challenges of digital medical devices over the past decade and strategies for enabling this key technology to transform medicine.

Read the full article in Science Translational Medicine.