Everyday Science

Has society become too dependent on technology?
Answered by Deepak Chopra MD and Dr. Mehmet Oz
  • Deepak Chopra MD

    Deepak Chopra MD

  • Dr. Mehmet Oz

    Dr. Mehmet Oz

  1. Deepak Chopra MD Author, Founder of The Chopra Foundation, Senior Scientist, The Gallup Organization


    I'm a fan of technology. See, we wouldn't be having this conversation were it not for technology. A lot of people would not be benefiting from technology. From what I know in the last two, three decades, technology's exponential in its growth, so it doubles every year. In 10 years, it will be a million times more than what it is now. In 20 years, it will be a billion times, so I can't even imagine what it will be. I'm told desktop computers printing out steaks and stem cells, Nanorobots following instructions from your iPhone or Blackberry.


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  2. Dr. Mehmet Oz Cardiac surgeon and host, The Dr. Oz Show


    I grew up experimenting with just about every cutting edge technology we had for surgery of the heart. I was trained with mechanical hearts, ventricular assist devices, some of the new- fangled tools that we use for robotic surgery, and then I helped develop some of the technologies that we use now to replace heart valves without surgery. So I've seen the entire gamut of opportunities and some of the false promises that technology offers.

    I want to up front acknowledge that there's nothing as effective in healing a human being as looking at them in the eyes and hearing what their problems are, and understanding their pain and witnessing them and validating them -- absolutely essential. When you use technology as a surrogate for that, that is never a smart move. That stated, technology has fundamentally changed how we perceive surgery. It has gone from being a pure life-and-death adventure into a quality of life experience.

    Now, when I was a young surgeon I was taught that quality of life surgery, minimally invasive surgery, was surgery that made the quality of the life of the patient better while destroying the quality of life of the surgeon because it made your life much more challenging to work with these tiny, itty-bitty keyhole incisions. But these technologies as they've progressed and advanced have a lot of new things I could never have envisioned to people much too sick to have traditional open heart surgery so we could preserve their lives.

    And more importantly, because it was so much less invasive -- for example, using a catheter from the groin rather than a band saw to your chest bone -- I can get you out of the hospital in a day or two rather than keeping you in there for weeks and months. And more importantly, you go home; you don't go to a nursing home or a long-term rehab facility. So it has allowed us to afford quality of life to a population of people who are aging and yet still need big-time reparative heart surgery, and for that reason I'm very proud of what technology's offered, not across the board, but in most cases.

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