Surgery in 2412

Recently I saw the movie Prometheus. And for me, it was visually beautiful and had an interesting thought behind it but somehow felt scientifically improbable, was it the aliens, no…it was the human technology, or the lack of it.

I will not spoil it for you. I will only be discussing what is in the trailer and what you can probably guess from the title: The ship has a surgery room, or a surgery crypt. I doubt that such would exist. Why, I’m coming to it.

In every major sci-fi movie or series there is the “doctor” whether it be an android, a robot or an actual human doctor inside a highly technological room, the “surgery” is always one of the central plots that lets us see that the protagonist is vulnerable, and has to be cared for in a clean environment following the biomedical model. 

As I had the great privilege of being a TEDMED scholar, new ideas were thrown from the stage to our brains every day. But the greatest ideas, for this post, actually came in the break. The demonstration boots of new medical technology.

The Sci-Fi surgery room of the future entails 4 things; diagnostic speed, diagnostic accuracy and non-invasive procedures with high recovery rate.

We are getting closer and closer to that reality, however in an extremely slow pace.

So what made me think of Sci-Fi?

I encountered several things that my grandparents, and even parents only saw in the movies

1) The DocBot (a robotic doctor)

2) XBOX Kinekt as an imaging 3D tool

3) 3D anatomy

All of these signal that we are trying to reach the 4 golden rules of the Sci-Fi surgery room. There are far more technologically impressing items out there, that I am aware of, but as these stood next to each other, it was hard not to draw parallel to mental images of my favourite shows Firefly (shown in picture below) and Star Trek. The show Star Trek has inspired new technologies and thoughts within medicine.

However, when it comes to the far far future,  surgery rooms will be obsolete. 

Nano-technological engineers with a medical degree and a PhD in molecular biology – will be the new surgeons. Why? Here are four minutes to answer that question.  


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