This entry was posted on Nov 09 2009 by

The Future Is Now (or it will be soon) Exhibit D

This billboard stands just a few miles from my home:


Hospital Billboard

It goes without saying that the advertisement refers to surgeries performed neither on robots nor by them, but to flesh-and-bone doctors utilizing robotic technology, in this case to conduct minimally invasive procedures with incisions far too small to accommodate human hands.  It’s a sign of how far our culture has come in accepting such ideas, though—consider what the reaction might have been to such a billboard just over 60 years ago, when Orson Welles’ radio dramatization of War of the Worlds resulted in panic and outrage.

The billboard reminds me of a BBC article forwarded to me a couple of years back by Max Handelman, producer of the Surrogates film.  If memory serves, the article discussed efforts in one of the Scandinavian countries (I want to say Sweden) to incorporate robotics into surgeries so that doctors will be able to perform lifesaving procedures remotely, the population centers being so far apart that patients sometimes expire while specialists are in transit.

The e-commute is much shorter here in Georgia, the doctors performing the surgeries typically guiding their robotic instruments from within the same room as their patients.  But how long will it be until the surgeries are performed from the doctors’ homes, or their boats anchored off the coast of the Bahamas?

Surgery by telepresence: yet another use for surrogate technology.

Post a Comment

Percy Jackson & The Olympians © Rick Riordan. Images from Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Graphic Novels © Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Powered by WordPress with a little help from Blog Oh! Blog
Site Design by Andy Runton