Imagine if your cell phone could warn you if it detected cancer cells in your body or an imminent heart attack? It may sound like science fiction, but the day when we check email and our vital signs on our phones is not that far off.We just have to push to make this kind of innovation happen.

The future of healthcare depends on creating new methods of diagnosing illness and of developing and delivering treatments to patients. We need new ways of thinking and of approaching solutions to healthcare problems.

On September 26, Amgen Canada, a biotechnology company that understands the value of innovation in improving healthcare and outcomes, seeks to further the discussion around innovation by partnering with MaRS to present a talk by Dr. Eric Topol, a leader in the movement to modernize medical treatment through the latest technologies.

Dr. Eric Topol

In his latest book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care, Dr. Topol argues that radical innovation in healthcare is within reach.

During his talk, Dr. Topol will discuss how social networking, smartphones and the powerful new tools that sequence each individual’s genome will give consumers control of their own individual information and revolutionize medicine. He will speak about ways in which genomics and the latest advances in technology can better—and more cheaply—prevent and treat chronic diseases.

Dr. Topol is working to bring a new kind of medicine into widespread practice: specifically designed treatments based on an individual’s unique genetic structure. This innovative approach, combined with the latest in medical technology, opens up a world of highly personalized treatment, better care, reduced need for hospital beds and lower costs for everybody.


As Dr. Topol will demonstrate, the way in which we diagnose and treat illness is changing. The mapping of the human genome has led to advances that have enabled companies to develop highly targeted biologic medicines to treat diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and blood disorders, to name but a few.

Interested in attending Dr. Topol’s talk? For more information, click here.

If personalized medicine is part of the future of healthcare, then it warrants further discussion and understanding because there will be implications in terms of Canadian health policy. Dr. Clive Ward-Able, executive director of research at Amgen Canada, writes that “through our excellent universities and first-class researchers, Canada is well established to be a leader in personalized medicine. Patients are poised to reap the benefits of this evolution in medical treatment, pending the outcome of some crucial debates.”

Every voice in this discussion is important. If you want to join the conversation, visit, an online forum hosted by Amgen Canada, and post your thoughts on the issue. The forum features opinion pieces by thought leaders in research, innovation and policy. It will also include a summary of Dr. Topol’s talk and a video of his presentation.



Kim Furlong

Kim Furlong joined Amgen Canada as director of federal government affairs in 2008. In her previous role, she held the position of vice-president of federal government relations for the Retail Council of Canada. See more…