Technology In Contemporary Society After reviewing this week’s learning resources respond to the following prompts: In your own words, describe how tech

Technology In Contemporary Society After reviewing this week’s learning resources respond to the following prompts:

In your own words, describe how tech

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After reviewing this week’s learning resources respond to the following prompts:

  • In your own words, describe how technology is changing or will change the healthcare industry.
  • Identify at least 3 technological health innovations from your resources that you found to be particularly interesting. Explain the potential positive and negative impacts of these innovations on society. Negative impacts may include ethical dilemmas posed by the technology. 

Remember to use your own words, using your best writing skills, cite your sources, and provide a reference list.

Health and Technology – Historical Perspectives

BEHS 103: Technology in Contemporary Society

Week 6

Credit: Katherine Im (2021, July)


Important areas related to health

Medical care

Biomedical research

Public health

Health care


Medical care

Professions dedicated to the treatment and prevention of illness

Heavy reliance on technology:

Diagnostic tools (e.g., blood tests, scanning)

Treatment (e.g., surgery)

Pharmaceuticals (e.g., vaccines, antibiotics)


Biomedical Research

Basic scientists who translate laboratory observations to clinical therapies and treatments

Very heavy reliance on technology (computers, statistical modeling, laboratory equipment and techniques, etc.)


Public Health

Protects and improves the health of communities through prevention research, health promotion, and public education efforts

Large scale efforts

Emphasis on prevention


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Health Care

Umbrella term that encapsulates many components

Includes health care policies and insurance

Includes patient records

Includes ancillary services (mental health, physical therapy, occupational therapy, holistic care)

Highly politicized due to $$$

Origins of medicine

Ancient Egypt (2600 BCE)

Imhotep – Important advisor to King Djoser

First known architect of pyramid

Diagnosed and treated over 200 diseases

Good understanding of anatomy


Ancient Greece (5th C. BCE)

Hippocrates – Father of Medicine

Hippocratic Oath – “first, do no harm”

Believed that illness had a natural cause

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First medical school (10th-13th c.)

Schola Medica Salernitana Italy

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Age of Enlightenment (1700-1800)

Rise of scientific inquiry, independent thinking, reason

The world operates according to unchanging laws of nature

People of reason can make the world better

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University of Pennsylvania

1st medical school in US

Technology and Medicine

Anthony Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723)

Invented the 1st microscope able to show bacteria, blood cells

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Edward Jenner (1749-1843)

Father of immunology

Vaccination for smallpox

Smallpox highly lethal, very disfiguring

Noticed that milkmaids who contracted coxpox (mild, related type of pox) didn’t contract smallpox

Exposed a little boy to cowpox, then injected him with smallpox – did not contract smallpox

1980 – Smallpox eradicated


Joseph Lister (1827-1912)

Discovered that antiseptics kill germs and reduce infection



Ignaz Semmelweiss (1818-1865) – “the Savior of Mothers”

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)


Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895)

Airborne microbes cause disease and putrefaction

Believed that all airborne-diseases could potentially have a vaccine

Developed vaccines for rabies

Discovered “pasteurization” – boiling liquids at a temperature that kills microbes without destroying the taste


Robert Koch (1843 – 1910)

“Father of bacteriology”

Credited with finding the cause of tuberculosis, cholera, and anthrax

Meticulous laboratory scientist – developed important lab procedures for studying bacteria


Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen
(1845- 1923)

1895 -accidentally discovered x-rays

Scanning technology

1972 – CT scan invented by Godfrey Hounsfield and Allan Cormack

1973 – PET scan invented by Michael Phelps

1981 – 1st MRI invented by Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield


Robotic Surgery

daVinci System – FDA approved in 2000

2021 – over 7 million surgeries performed,using%20da%20Vinci%20surgical%20systems


Improvements in diagnosis and prevention changed demography of U.S.

1900 –high rates of death from acute illness earlier in life

2000 –high rates of death chronic illness later in life

Implications for longevity

Increase in co-morbidity

Implications for disability rates

Implications for health care costs


Technology bending nature

Reproductive technology


Stem Cells

Reproductive Technology

Two major advances:

Birth control – 1960’s

Significant impact on the family structure

Fewer births

Mothers older, more financially stable

More infertility problems

Assistive Reproductive Technologies – 1970’s


Assistive Reproductive Technologies

IVF – In vitro fertilization – egg fertilized by sperm in a petri dish, implanted back in mother

Louise Brown, born July 25, 1978

1st “Test Tube Baby”

Introcytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Remove the egg, inject sperm directly into the egg, transplant

Used in cases of male infertility


Producing an animal in a laboratory that is an exact genetic copy of another

Make a clone activity:

Is it a clone or not game:

Dolly the Sheep – 1st clone (Feb 22, 1997)


Potential uses of cloning:

Cloning research animals to study disease

Cloning stem cells to repair the human body

Cloning animals for pharmaceutical development

Reproducing extinct or dead species or animal (pets, humans)


High failure rate

Development problems (large offspring syndrome)

Abnormal gene expression

Should we clone humans?

Stem Cells

Undifferentiated embryonic or adult cells

Used to create differentiated cells for therapeutic purposes


Medicine’s future

(see Week 6 Learning Resources)


Not so farfetched?


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