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High Tech's Impact on Health Care

If I had just a dollar for every patient I see in the ER who asks for an MRI, I’d be rich. Patients and doctors alike have bought into an assumption that more and better technology makes for better health care.

On this week’s episode of WCBA, we examine the role technology plays in health care and ask whether more tech in medicine means less craft. As medical historian Stanley Reiser says on the show, the debate over tech versus craft is as old as the stethescope.

On second thought, we shouldn’t be dreading the future – especially when you find out the kinds of breakthroughs that are just around the corner.

Case in point: Think off-the-shelf body parts are science fiction? Within our lifetimes, we may be ordering new kidneys from a store or a catalog. Researchers at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina were the first in the world to custom build a replacement bladder in a lab and transplant it successfully into a human being.

There are people walking around today with laboratory-built bladders, thanks to the Institute, and its’ director, Dr. Anthony Atala.

Here is an extended interview he did for WCBA. And catch our show on Tech Versus Craft Saturday December 19 at 10 am (1030 am NT) or Monday December 21 at 1130 am (330 pm NT) on CBC Radio One.


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