Recommended Reading for Health Care Professionals

“There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away….”

Emily Dickinson Poem

In case you are looking for some last minute holiday gifts for a colleague or friend, I thought I might share some of the books I’ve read over the year that have shaped my thinking in 2019.

First up is Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol, MD. AI has the potential to transform everything doctors do, from notetaking and medical scans to diagnosis and treatment, greatly cutting down the cost of medicine and reducing human mortality. Unfortunately, AI has become a buzzword in healthcare these days. Every vendor has a different definition of what it is, how it works, and the benefits it provides. Dr. Topol lays out the landscape of AI in healthcare clearly, succinctly, and with a minimum of technical jargon. If you want to understand how this technology can REALLY impact healthcare, this is a must read.

Augmented Health: The End of the Beginning by Lucien Engelen is a great read. It provides some insights on what is happening to health(care) and how you might best prepare for the digital future that’s coming. It addresses all levels: physicians, nurses, patients, IT, board members & governments.

I’m not a healthcare economist, but I have always enjoyed reading anything by the late Uwe Reinhardt. His last book Priced Out: The Economic and Ethical Costs of American Health Care was eye opening. He analyzes why there is no American political consensus on a fundamental question other countries settled long ago: to what extent should we be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers when it comes to health care? In typical Reinhardt fashion he dispels the confusion, ignorance, myths, and misinformation that hinder effective reform.

Reframing Healthcare: A Roadmap for Creating Disruptive Change by Zeev Neuwirth, MD was another of my favorite reads. In my work with Sg2, we were very fortunate to have Zeev join us as a keynote speaker for our Innovation Summit in San Francisco last July. His presentation outlined the roadmap for healthcare organizations that wish to thrive in a customer-centric, community-oriented, value-based healthcare system. A great read by itself, but you can take advantage of the ongoing developments in this critical area by listening to Zeev’s podcast series Creating A New Healthcare where he interviews clinical leaders from around the country who are putting these tools into practice.

I have always followed Jane Sarasohn-Kahn on social media and enjoy her blog Health Populi. Her book, Health Consuming: From Health Consumer to Health Citizen is a terrific read. The book explains how HealthConsuming has come to be: how consumers are playing growing roles in making health for themselves, their families and friends, and in their communities, facing ever-growing financial health risks; peoples’ growing use of mobile platforms and broadband connectivity, and the promise of digital health for wellness, prevention, self-care and chronic medical care; expanding access for retail health in our communities; the overwhelming evidence for investing in social determinants of health; growing challenges of personal health information privacy and security; and, ultimately, whether Americans have the prospect of becoming full health citizens like peers enjoy in the rest of the developed world.

Another of my favorite people to follow online and across multiple social platforms is Peter Diamandis. I regularly read his blog, watch his videos from Singularity Univerity online, and read his books. Peter and his co-author Steven Kotler always push the envelope and drive creative thinking across multiple industries. Their book Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World was one of my favorites this year. If you are interested in the exponential technologies that are disrupting today’s Fortune 500 companies and enabling upstart entrepreneurs like 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, networks and sensors, and synthetic biology, this is the book for you. I’m excited to be part of the launch team for their new book The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives which will be released at the end of January, 2020. I’m sure that it will make my list of recommendations next year.

Finally, I was blown away by The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care–and How to Fix It by Marty Makary, MD. Drawing from on-the-ground stories, his research, and his own experience, The Price We Pay paints a vivid picture of price-gouging, middlemen, and a series of elusive money games in need of a serious shake-up. The book offers a roadmap for everyday Americans and business leaders to get a better deal on their health care, and profiles the disruptors who are innovating medical care. I can also recommend a video of Dr. Makary being interviewed by ZDogg MD, Dr. Zubin Damania on his You Tube Channel. You can find the interview here.

I hope that you find one or more of these titles interesting. If you have other book recommendations that you’ve enjoyed this year, please share them in the comments to this post. I’m always looking for another great read.

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