by Robin Cook
Review: Robin Cook crafts a chilling look at the intersection between modern, smartphone-based technology and the medical profession, in Cell.
iDoc is a new smartphone app developed by Amalgamated Health Care, used to test, treat, evaluate, and even prescribe medications for a patient in real time, cutting down on trips to primary care physicians, saving everyone time and money. It does so by interacting with a microchip that is embedded under the skin, monitoring one's life functions. The owner of a number of medical centers and hospitals, Amalgamated has begun trials on the app. One of the test patients is Kasey Lynch, the fiancée of Dr. George Wilson, a fourth-year radiology resident at an Amalgamated-owned medical center in Westwood (Los Angeles). One morning he awakes to find Kasey dead. Soon thereafter one of his own patients suddenly dies, someone who had also participated in testing iDoc. Is it possible that iDoc was involved? When he tries to obtain the medical examiner's reports on what may have caused their deaths, he's refused the information. He then appeals to Amalgamated's board of directors, specifically Dr. Paula Stonebrenner, who is credited with the idea of iDoc. She agrees to work with him to learn more, but it's soon clear that the learning the truth may cost them their lives.
Anyone who has used a smartphone app will recognize how credible the plot of Cell is. But it's also credible, maybe even more so, how risky some of these apps may be, providing personal information to organizations, even government officials, that could use the data in a manner not consistent with the intent of the technology. This is a thrilling look into the near-future, a time that will undoubtedly come, probably sooner than later. One can only hope that the scenarios and the potential consequences thereof outlined here will remain in the realm of fiction, and not become reality.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Cell.
Acknowledgment: Penguin Group provided a copy of Cell for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Putnam (Hardcover), October 2015
ISBN-13: 9780399172144; ISBN-10: 0399172149
Location(s) referenced in Cell: Los Angeles, California
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Cell by Robin Cook
Publication Date: February 2014
List Price: $26.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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