Technology has come to play a major role in medicine, right from diagnosing to treating diseases

No other branch of medicine has leveraged technology the way allopathy has done, claims a youngster, taking on his older counterpart.

AD: Hi, so how's your migraine now? Did you see the doctor?

BC: I did, he's given me some oil and a powder mix that needs to be taken with...

AD: Why didn't you go see an allopathic doctor? What if a scan or some tests have to be done?

BC: I prefer natural medicines — they have no side effects.

AD: Wouldn’t it have been better to be diagnosed and treated by a proven branch of medicine that’s backed by technology?

BC: Well, natural forms of treatment originated long before allopathy, but are still relevant — doesn't that tell you how effective and well-thought out they are?

AD: Sure, but today, we’re afflicted with so many complications — and it takes technology to identify them.

BC: Maybe, but not all ailments need technology...

AD: It's not about using technology in isolation — it's about integrating it with every aspect of medicine. The Western system has intensive research done which is aided by technology, and billions of dollars are spent every year in understanding symptoms and producing medicines.

BC: But after all the diagnosis, it's the pharma companies that dictate the cure, don't they? It's become a money-spinner.

AD: You're deviating — we're talking about the efficacy of the treatment and how technology aids it.

BC: Allopathy has the backing of the Western world and that explains its popularity.

AD: Incidentally, the West has now pioneered an advanced form of laser surgery to remove brain tumour based on a new technology called SRS microscopy that allows them to see the minutest portions of brain tissue. And SRS stands for Stimulated Raman Scattering, named after Sir C V Raman. So there's an Indian influence there as well.

BC: That's an honour to the great man, but it's a fact that in our bid to look for quick relief, we're ignoring our wonderful healing systems.

AD: What about fields like gynaecology and obstetrics? Imagine where we would be if technology didn’t result in Doppler ultrasonography or CT scans.

BC: Sure, but for thousands of years before scan centres came up, women have been delivering babies. Since we have the technology, we're trying to make use of it.

AD: Speaking of scans, do you know that the imaging technologies available in operation theatres are now accessible to general physicians too? A handheld device based on a technology called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is now empowering them to...

BC: Sorry, but OCT is all OHT (Overhead Transmission) to me.

AD: And what about robot-assisted surgery? It can pull off the most intricate surgery with precision.

BC: Look into our ancient medical treatises — several complicated surgeries have been recorded. And they were done before modern technology came into existence.

AD: However, remote surgical intervention is a modern concept surely... I read an article about a doctor in New York performing a gallbladder operation on a patient in France. It calls for computers, artificial intelligence and...

BC: All I can say is that we are endowed with a lot of natural intelligence to fall back upon, so...

AD: Isn’t it true that a branch of medicine like homeopathy actually gives you the disease-causing substance in small, diluted doses? There have been several questions raised regarding this...

BC: If that's the case, PET — Positron Emission Tomography — scanning involves injecting the patient with a small dose of radioactive material. Would you rather accept that?

AD: Think of it as technology's miracle, because the effects are the same as that of an X-ray. I can continue telling you about how technology has aided remote surgery through the Asynchronous Transfer Mode, or ATM...

BC: The ATM has another big role to play as well...

AD: What’s that?

BC: With medical treatment becoming prohibitively expensive, it's the first place every patient will need to visit before he goes to a hospital.


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