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The Edge of Medicine: The Technology that will Change Our Lives

Speaker  William Hanson

Affiliation  Director, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center

Host  Kim Ricketts and Kirsten Wiley

Duration  01:21:00

Date recorded  6 January 2009

There is a future of medicine where a brain surgeon in Stockholm will remove a brain tumor from a patient in Brazil, using remote robotic surgical hands. The hospitals of the future will have smart alarms that alert a doctor immediately that his patient, in room 246, has a abnormally low blood pressure—before a nurse or pager could do so. There will be thought controlled wheelchairs steered by brainwaves, man- made organs, human hibernation and tiny molecular machines that hunt and kill cancer cells where they are in the body. Telehealth software will serve as a monitoring nurse for chronically ill patients and electronic noses will detect infection based on a person’s breath: none of this is science fiction, and all of it is currently being used in some of the best hospitals in the country. Dr. Hanson will discuss his own work with technological advances at “the edge of medicine” and what it means for our future.

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