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Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,208 ratings  ·  131 reviews
A Science Friday pick for book of the year, 2019

One of America's top doctors reveals how AI will empower physicians and revolutionize patient care

Medicine has become inhuman, to disastrous effect. The doctor-patient relationship--the heart of medicine--is broken: doctors are too distracted and overwhelmed to truly connect with their patients, and medical errors and mi
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Basic Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Manzoor Elahi
Critics hailed Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think as a vision of future for big data. But a lot of it turned out to be hype. I see the same hubris in health care AI. Take IBM Watson for example, IBM Watson still hasn't delivered much in health care. (

We have seen the mess created by "move fast and break things" philosophy. The way I see it, Deep medicine might be the "move fast and break things" in health care.

Isil Arican
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
As an MD who now works on Healthcare IT field, I should start by telling that I am a big fan of Eric Topol and admire his vision in many ways. I read his previous books, follow him on twitter and watched him live multiple times in various events. When I was a TED translator, I translated couple of his TED talks to Turkish ( and he even acknowledged it in a signed book when I met him). So I started to read this with a huge positive bias obviously.

I liked the book overall. He is giving a nice summ
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well researched, eye-opening and fascinating. AI is the future of medicine and I think we need to embrace it and make sure that patients get the most out of it.
Michael Halcon
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A very up to date and well researched book on the world of AI and its application in medicine.
For someone with little knowledge about AI like myself, it gives a quick overview of AI, in what sectors AI tools are being used, and then proceeds to talk about its application within different branches of medicine, but also within other related areas such as drug discovery, omics and mental health.

At the same time he also touches on issues of empathy in medicine and the patient-doctor relationship.

May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
One way to describe modern medicine is "shallow". This book explores how AI would actually deepen in and how we should not be afraid of what it can bring to the table.
Ardon Pillay
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medicine, technology
With vast mountains of data generated every day, the medical profession is ripe for the application of deep learning to transform its very landscape.

From bringing precision medicine to life to improving the utility of electronic health records systems, the potential of AI to improve medicine for doctors and patients alike is extraordinary.

The potential disruptive changes this might bring are also considered in the book, particularly with regards to the cries that we should stop training all rad
Wesley Pigg
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eric Topol does a great job giving a broad overview of AI and the implications for healthcare. I appreciated that he was able to talk broadly whilst also giving specific examples. I also liked that I did not need to know much about artificial intelligence.

He starts by explaining the issues with the healthcare systems of today, which he sums up with the saying ‘shallow medicine’ - insufficient time, connection, data, and context in our consultations. He then describes artificial intelligence and
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, that was certainly an informative and insightful book about the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare. (However, I do admit that I skimmed some parts of it because I was mainly just looking for the applications.)

For me, I did have prior knowledge about how AI works and some of its applications in medicine, but the author really does a good job in presenting some really cool uses that are being currently developed or will be in the future. I really thank the author for compiling all
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ultimately, this is an optimistic book. "The greatest opportunity offered by AI is not reducing errors or workloads, or even curing cancer: it is the opportunity to restore the precious and time-honored connection and trust—the human touch—between patients and doctors."

There's detail on what machine learning can do right now. That includes diagnosis from radiography, virutal medicine (telemedicine and chatbots), personalisation of healthcare, diet, mental health, and AI as a tool for use by the
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eric Topol is always interesting be it a book, an interview, a podcast or on Twitter. On Twitter to me he wins the MVT award for most valuable tweeter.

This is I believe the third book of his that I’ve read. I am not a novice to AI/ML and I lecture on these topics.

This is a very thorough book. Almost every page is filled with information worth checking out even further. It covers the current state of AI in medicine thoroughly. From journal articles to companies carrying out the efforts I can’t s
Peter Tillman
Nice review at Science magazine:
"Eric Topol ... is optimistic about the future of health care. In Deep Medicine, he anticipates that new machine learning technologies will improve the precision and accuracy of disease diagnosis, thus providing a better way to identify the best therapies. ... He hopes that the time freed up by these approaches will be devoted to reviving humane medical practices. ...

The great contribution of this book is that Topol
Tamara Covacevich
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a great book, but for only one read. I would recommend for everyone, as it gives great insights not only about Medicine + AI but also about how medicine is being done nowadays and its shortcomings. The literature review done by the author is impressive, and as someone researching on this topic, it gives a lot of ideas and useful references. I feel like for someone that doesn't know anything about AI it might be still difficult to grasp the ideas (even with the big effort of the author). I l ...more
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I appreciate that the author opens up with an example of how AI can be a bad thing in healthcare. It sets the stage for the delicate balance that needs to be considered in this field. Certainly we can't just use computers for cold, sterile diagnoses. Rather, doctors need to spend their time on the patient and augment their medical knowledge with software while improving their empathy.

As our medical technology evolves, it will be crucial that empathy is a key priority. Otherwise, medicine will no
Asya Igmen
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: health-care-nf
Deeply informative. Topol provides a compelling case for ‘deep medicine’ and a comprehensive review of how AI has (and will continue to) impact health care. The examples he shares are concrete, which helps simplify an immensely complex topic. I found it particularly refreshing to read a realistic interpretation of both the opportunity and threat AI poses (aka Topol does a great job disproving oft-cited alarmist claims).

It’s a must for any lay reader working in the health industry (not sure it’s
Stevie Wiegel
Jul 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
In Deep Medicine Eric Topol gives an excellent snapshot of the current state of AI in healthcare. While this book gives a comprehensive current assessment of AI in medicine, Topol spends little time looking into the future or exploring the philosophical implications of this technology. Given the title of this book, I was hoping for more of this future oriented analysis. Still giving it 4 stars as it was well written, well researched, and at least gave cursory thought to the future of AI in healt ...more
Joseph L.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Watch a detailed review along with my favorite ideas and takeaways at:
Bruno Morato
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book of the year for me!
Remarkably insightful and scientifically rigorous.
Ave Mets
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written by a medic, this is a well informed, down-to-earth account of what AI can do for medicine.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
For all the discussion in this book of technology, AI and machine learning, the big takeaway for me from Deep Medicine is the promise AI holds to cure what ails modern medical practice. Right now burnout is rampant among physicians, they have little time or autonomy, and patients feel unseen, unheard, misunderstood and even uncared for. Done right, AI, will make it possible to restore the doctor-patient relationship and the art and practice of medicine. Fingers crossed!
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall, a great read for anyone interested in AI or medicine. The last chapter is insightful, but I felt that the other chapters, though thought provoking, lacked depth.
Ramit B
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A definite must read for anyone wanting to know how healthcare is going to be transformed/being transformed by AI. With high throughput omics data becoming cheaper by the minute, data storage capacity increasing, and Deep Learning algorithms reaching a high level of sophistication, its safe to say that humanity is not far from the infliction point where the healthcare industry is about to be transformed in unimaginable ways by AI.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, medicine, ai
AI will reshape medicine

This is the third book on the future of medicine by Dr. Eric Topol. He states that the future of medicine lays above three pillars:

- Digitization: covered on his first book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine;
- Democratization: covered on his second book. The Patient Will See You Now;
- Deep Medicine: covered in this book.

At first, I thought this book would be a guided tour about the expectations and the use of artificial intelligence around the different medical specia
Jonathan Fang
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Former Cleveland Clinic chair cardiologist Eric Topol explores the expected impact of AI in medicine. Purely diagnostic specialties might be replaced by AI in some countries within a decade. Surgeons are at risk of being replaced in 3 decades. Topol argues that automation need not replace doctors, but can instead allow them to serve the human role as providers of empathy and comfort, which are often deficient in modern medicine due to overwork.

An Interesting argument
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting and educational read, especially in regards to the use of AI in restoring a personalized, patient focused approach to medicine. I appreciate the optimism with which Topol envisions a future for AI in medicine and the potential benefits to both health care workers and patients. However, I was disappointed in the relatively little time devoted to what’s most frightening about the use of AI in medicine: as long as health care remains largely a privatized venture, as is the c ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great read that might serve multiple audiences. (I only give it a 4 rather than a 5 because it is essentially a survey that rarely has time to settle down and dig in; understandable given the scope.) The bottom line here is that according to Topol, the reason we must leverage AI in medicine (across research . . . treatment . . . direct-to-consumer tools . . .) is that AI techniques may return more time to the practitioner to be human, and exercise empathy and presence, including the ev ...more
Emmanuel Bijaoui
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-hebban
Over the past few years, artificial intelligence has stormed into health care like a consultant from hell, promising to improve quality, cut costs, increase productivity, eliminate diagnostic errors, catch impending strokes before they happen, distinguish benign blips on a mammogram from breast cancer and generally usher in a halcyon era of medicine.
Or so claim the more ardent boosters of AI. Open “Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again” to almost any page, an
Greg Loughnane
The book in 3 sentences:

Topol puts together an overview of the opportunity space inhabited by AI in medicine and healthcare; one which spans much more than preventative treatments, diagnosis, prognosis, and healthcare record digitization. He also discusses how the role of technology affects different types of doctors differently (he draws the distinction between "doctors with patterns" and "doctors without patterns"). He also discusses the importance of an "AI + Human" approach to mental health,
Scott J Pearson
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The author, an innovative medical school president in California, is one of my favorites on the topic of computing in medicine. He sees the medical landscape wider than most scholars, and he is a true humanist at heart. He surveys the field of artificial intelligence and sees how it could apply to modern medicine.

Most of the described projects are pipe dreams now, but Topol sees potential in them. Of course, they need rigorous clinical trials to demonstrate their efficacy. I would love for my pe
Sara Mendez
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
(3.7/5) - When I started reading Deep Medicine, I was really excited. I believed I would end up rating it a 4/5 or higher but, while I still consider it a pretty good book, it didn’t live up to the high expectations I had set for it from the beginning. I often found myself stopping to think about how overly optimistic Eric Topol is about the future of AI in medicine. I can definitely see the potential for AI to fundamentally change the medical field but I am not as certain as Topol seems to be t ...more
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  Tami Charles is a former teacher and the author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made...
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“Eventually, doctors will adopt AI and algorithms as their work partners. This leveling of the medical knowledge landscape will ultimately lead to a new premium: to find and train doctors who have the highest level of emotional intelligence.” 2 likes
“The greatest opportunity offered by AI is not reducing errors or workloads, or even curing cancer: it is the opportunity to restore the precious and time-honored connection and trust” 1 likes
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