Emerging Technologies Impacts On Business And Society Computer Science Essay

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Understanding the concept of Emerging Technologies has become essentially important for the people as technology keeps evolving every single day and technology affects the lives of people. Emerging Technologies are those technologies which experience advancement constantly and they keep growing by leaps and bounds in every way possible. The improvement in the emerging technologies is gauged by the amount of impact they have on business and the society. Nanotechnology and Robotics in Surgery are technologies which are emerging in the present scenario and there is very concrete evidence to prove that they will evolve at a rapid pace in the future. This is a report of the two emerging technologies namely Nanotechnology and Robotics in Surgery, their working methodologies and their impacts on business and society. The paper has details about the present trends in these technologies which will decide how these will fare in the future. Nanotechnology has affected the society in a huge way and Robotics in Surgery is a field which has huge chances of growth in the future as it saves lives of people because medicine benefits people in a big way. This paper encapsulates every single detail about these technologies which makes it easy for a layman to understand the concepts of these technologies and apply them more for their use in their lives.

This paper talks about two Emerging Technologies which are:

1 - Robotics in Surgery.

2 - The Age of Nanotechnology.

KEYWORDS: Robotics, Surgery, Da Vinci Robot, Nanotechnology, Nanomaterials, Nano carbon tubes, Nanoscience.


Advancement in the field of tangible and intangible technology is rapid and its influence in our daily life is growing at a faster pace than we can ever imagine.

While most of these emerging developments become part of our social life, some remain to the exclusive advantage of specific sectors that include medical, industrial, research and business. This advancement helps the society we live in by turning complex time consuming tasks simpler and easier. Specific sector oriented technology might require huge investment, in terms of implementing and research but such factors does not stop the flow investment into this field due to the shorter payback period and the positive impact on the organizational output and profits.

The exposure of such emerging technology is vast and is equally important when taking into account its impact on the society and other sectors including business.

For the purpose of this report I have chosen to discuss 2 recent areas where advanced technological emergence has benefited the Society and The Business sectors.

NanoTechnology is the science of very small particles and it is an industry which has huge benefits for business and society. It is used in a wide range of industries ranging from food to science. The huge investments in Nanotechnology prove that the world market trusts it and wants to invest more money in it because the profits are huge.

Robotics in Surgery is an emerging technology as it is a novel way of performing surgery. Robotic Surgery effects people and also business as various hospitals and organizations are investing huge money on it. Robotics in Surgery is where instruments are used to perform a surgery and it is not done by hand by a surgeon. Robotics in Surgery has huge benefits like the blood loss is very less for a patient and it is easy for the surgeon to perform a surgery as it involves less effort by the surgeon.

1- The Age of Nanotechnology.

2- Robotics in Surgery.


The science of very small is called Nanotechnology. In Greek, the term 'nanos' means dwarf. The tiny scale manipulation and use of matter is Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is not a term used in a limited way. It is actually a technology which transcends all the major areas like commercial products, environment, healthcare and others. The examples of nanomaterials are quantum dots and carbon nanotubes which have new properties.

Below is a figure depicting all the Nano Materials:

Nanoscale materials and devices are used in sensors, smart drugs, targeted drug delivery, and novel cellular therapies.

Figure taken from: Nanotechnology, Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Available online at:


[Accessed 1st March 2010] [7]

The Salient Characteristics of Nanotechnology:

The production and use of materials with purposely engineered features close to the molecular or atomic level is the science of Nanotechnology. It is called 'NT' in short. The structures which are very small are put together atom by atom. The structures are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Materials, systems and devices with new properties are created with Nanotechnology.

The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative defines Nanotechnology as the "Understanding and control of matter at the dimensions of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers" (J. Clarens Davies, Managing the effects of Nanotechnology, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.) [8]

The understanding of matter with the dimensions between 1 and 100 nanometres is what Nanotechnology deals with. The properties of nanomaterials are entirely specialized and different compared to the properties of ordinary materials.


The figure above explains all the types of nanostructures like active and passive nanostructures. There are various nanosystems as well with molecular nanosystems.

The various examples of Nanostructures are:





This is the best example of the appearance of Nanostructure.

Figure taken from Jason Montesanto, 2001, The Future of Nanotechnology. [6]

CARBON NANOTUBES: These are tubular forms of carbon with diameters as small as 1 nm and over 130 microns length. These are also called CNT's. Extraordinary mechanical properties are exhibited by them as 200 GPa is the tensile strength. Diamond's thermal conductivity can be compared with that of CNT's. Microscopy makes use of CNT's. The uses of CNT's are: flat panel displays, strength is high and AFM Imaging.

AFM Image: To create an image on a substrate, Nanolithography techniques are used. Below is a figure depicting how an AFM image is created using nanolithography.

Figure taken from Jason Montesanto, 2001, The Future of Nanotechnology.[6]


Statistical figure depicting the products using nanotechnology from the years 2005 to 2014:

Figure taken from: Debunking the trillion dollar nanotechnology market size hype, Nanowerk Spotlight. Available online at:

http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=1792.php [Accessed 10th March 2010] [1]

The above figure talks about the sales in nanoparticled products from the years 2005 to 2014 in billion dollars. This study is done by Nanowerk Spotlight.

The business impact of nanotechnology is gauged by the figures depicting investments on nanotechnology. The impact of business is determined by analyzing how well the companies are investing on nanotechnology. The companies will invest only if they expect profit out of the investment. The impact of business on nanotechnology is said to be effective only when the customers benefit out of it.

The forecasts on investment on nanotechnology by year 2015 are expected to be $ 2.95 trillion.

National Science Foundation is the main organization predicting how will huge investments on nanotechnology fare and many articles, funding applications and business plans mention this regarding National Science Foundation.

Nanotechnology will have a new entrant into its domain which is the Semiconductor industry.

The Nanotechnology companies which are cheaper, smaller and better now will experience huge growth and these will have known names in the future like Toshiba, Nokia, GE, BMW etc.

A mutli agency effort within the US government that supports a broad program of federal nanoscale research in materials, physics, chemistry and biology is The National Nanotechnology Initiative. (NNI)


Created from: Sizing Nanotechnology's Value Chain, A LUX Research Report.

Figure taken from: Debunking the trillion dollar nanotechnology market size hype, Nanowerk Spotlight. Available online at:

http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=1792.php [Accessed 10th March 2010] [1]

According to the LUX's Research Value Chain Ontology, pure nanomaterial's market will grow to $ 3.6 billion by 2010.

The total nanotechnology business investment will be around $ 500 by 2010. This is proven by the research conducted by the LUX RESEARCH GROUP FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY MARKET. [1]

Business Impact Reports of Nanotechnology:

The estimates and the reports of National Science Foundation point out that over 200 million workers would be employed in the industry of nanotechnology by 2015.

Cientifica reports that the market of nanotechnology will be $ 1.5 trillion by 2015 without semiconductors.

Cientifica also reports that the market of nanotechnology will be $ 2.95 trillion by 2015 with the semiconductors.[1]

All these market reports on nanotechnology business prove that all aspects of our lives will have a deep transformatic effect by Nanotechnologies sooner or later.

The companies of diverse range of industries now have nanotechnology as an important area of business. (From OPTICAL CABLING to OIL EXPLORATION)

In 2008, the private investment on nanotechnology was $ 5.6 billion.

The sectors which will witness huge returns over the next 5 years concerning nanotechnology are ELECTRONICS and MEDICAL sectors.

The global market is huge for nanoparticles, nanopowders, nanocapsules, nanotubes etc.

Research and Development has Nanotechnology as the thriving area in the year 2008.

$ 6.7 was the public funding of nanotechnology in the year 2008.

Russian Government committed US $ 5 Billion.

Countries like Egypt, Cuba, Brazil, Saudi Arabia have special raft of centres and initiatives for Nanotechnology. [2]

According to the National Nanotechnology Initiative, $ 495 million dollars are spent in funding with NSF spending $ 217 M, DOD spending $110 M, DOE $ 94 M, NASA $ 20 M, DOC $ 18 M, NIH spending $ 36 M.[ 6]

According to the Foreign Nanotechnology Research, Government expenditures in the year 1997 on Nanotechnology are: US spent $ 118 M, Japan spent $ 120 M, Europe spent $ 65 Million. This proves that US does not dominate in the expenditure on Nanotechnology. [6]

Figure taken from : thttp://0-web.ebscohost.com.brum.bed59.5 s.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&hid=8&sid=439258b3-5fda-49d1-ae51-726483082d0d%40sessionmgr4. [Accessed on 12th march 2010]

The above figure depicts the nanotechnology value chain and it also depicts all the types of products created out of nanomaterials. All the products are sold in huge numbers thus making the business of nanotechnology extremely profitable.

The funding dedicated to Nanotechnology research by the venture capitalists, governments and corporations in 2005 was $ 9.6 billion. Goods incorporating nanotechnology worth $ 32 billion were sold in 2005. The various goods sold are bandages which are created of nanoparticles, hearing aids constructed of nanostructures based sensors, parts of nanoclay materials are used to create vehicles in general motors.


The imaginations of Scientists, Engineers and Economists have been captured by the societal implications of nanotechnology.

According to The office of Science and Technology and Office of Management and Budget, Nanotechnology was place top in the list of emerging fields of research and development in the United States.

Fields in which Nanotechnology has a huge Societal Impact:

ELECTRONICS: Specialized materials are created for the semiconductor industry with nanoparticles.

MANUFACTURING: Using Nanotechnology, materials with unique properties, high performance and functions are produced. Exact shapes are attained without machining in the manufacturing industry when nanoparticles are used. The materials created are stronger, lighter and bio inspired.

HEALTHCARE: Nanotechnology is used to create products which prolong life and also improve the quality of life. However, more extensive research is being conducted in this area.

PHARMACEUTICALS: Production of most of the Pharmaceutical industry uses Nanotechnology. [3]

CHEMICAL PLANTS: Nano particles are used in the creation of Chemical Plants in huge industries.

SUSTAINABILITY: All the materials created with nanoparticles are sustainable and very effective.

Negative Impact of Nanomaterials:

Studies have also been done which says that the nanomaterials present unique health risks. Inflammation in the human lungs can happen due to carbon nanotubes. This was found out when a few tests were conducted on a group of fish. Research is still going on to check the harmful effects of nanomaterials but as of now it can said that the negative effect is very less. [8]


MEDICINE: Drugs are delivered directly to the human body with the usage of nanoparticles.

ELECTRONICS: Nanotechnology is used to create electronic devices which are light weight and consume less power.

SPACE: Nanoparticles are used to make lightweight solar sails and cable for space elevator.

FOOD: From how food is grown to its package, Nanotechnology has impact on various aspects related to food science. Food products which are tasty and safe are created with nanoparticles.

FUEL CELLS: The efficiency of membranes used in fuel cells is improved with the usage of nanoparticles.[4]

NANOTECHNOLOGY IN ONCOLOGY: Nanoparticles are used in the treatment of cancer. Cancerous tissue on the operating table is highlighted by fluorescent nanoparticles.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT: Metals in Automobiles are being replaced by nanoparticle reinforced polymers. To remove ultrafine contaminants, ordered mesoporous material is used by Mobil Oil with the usage of Nanoparticles.

COMPUTING: Transistor of carbon nanotube was created by IBM and DELFT industry. All the data in the library of congress can be stored in one gram of DNA and this is the best statement to prove how best the minute precision level of nanotechnology works.

Table depicting the use of NanoTechnology in various fields which proves the

Widesepread impact of it:

Table taken from The Societal Implications of Nanotechnology.


A Brief history of Robotics in Surgery:

It is very important to know how any technology evolved in the beginning before going further. Year 2000 is the starting year of robotic surgery and Urology was the main branch of surgery where robotics was used for performing a surgery. The surgery is done by the surgeon and it is a myth which is proven wrong that robots perform surgery. In New Zealand, Grace Hospital witnessed first robotic surgery.

The Components of Robotic Surgery:

The Da Vinci robot is a basic type of robot used in surgery. The main equipment of a Da Vinci robot is made of

1) The console of surgery

2) Cart beside the patient

3) Equipment of image processing

The surgeon's console does beautiful eye-hand alignment, has seat posture which is comfortable and tremor is reduced. The various instruments used for robotic surgery are tailor made and specialized. The instruments have useful features like improved dexterity, surgical access is enhanced and surgical precision is great.

The Robotic surgery procedures are

Cardiac Surgery

Urological Surgery

Vascular Surgery

Pancreatic Surgery

Repair of Hernia

Colorectal Surgery

Nephrectomy in a live donor

The employment of robots as a surgical tool in the area of healthcare is on the rise, particularly in areas that necessitate precise hand to tool coordination to perform surgical operations in a limited space.

A century ago the concept of robots was a subject that came across a reader in science fiction novels, but with the progression of human knowledge and increase in industrial innovations, the concept of robots was demanded to be materialized in areas where repeated tasks were to be perform with accuracy and without fatigue.

PUMA 560, the name on itself does not present a clue to what it is about; it is the name of the first robot mechanically applied to assist a surgeon to perform a surgery in the year 1985.

The last two decades has seen a rapid progression where robots were once used to assist mere general surgical procedures to now been used in advanced cardiology, orthopaedics, gastrointestinal and neurosurgery surgeries.

Surgical robots are connected with set of arms, sophisticated surgical instruments, sensors and cameras which is controlled by an expert such as a surgeon to perform the surgical tasks in real time without having to be physically present near the operation table.

The choice of using robots to be used in surgery stands beneficial where precision is required to a very minuscule level, less post surgical scarring of tissues, less blood loss and a 3 dimensional vision of the surgical procedure in real-time. Ongoing research on surgical robots are concentrated in the areas to miniaturising these instruments while increasing their efficiency to perform more sophisticated tasks where otherwise a physical human hand might have difficulty to perform.[9]

The figure depicting DA VINCI surgical system with a console of surgery, vision cart, surgical cart and three arms.

Figure taken from: Adrian Lobontiu et al, 2009, Robotically Assisted Aorto- Femoral Bypass Grafting Surgery, Advanced Technologies for Enhanced Quality of life. [2]


Various hospitals like Epworth hospital, Sydney Adventist hospital perform robotic surgery and extensive research is being conducted in these hospitals on robotic surgery and huge amounts of money is being spent on the research.

For the preparation of this review to analyse the impact of using robotics in surgery to the business, the term business should also be considered as a HealthCare Establishment like NHS trusts, Private Medial establishments etc., or a Surgeon that provides health care treatment to patients

Robots in automobile and consumer electronics industry are programmed to function by itself, but due to the lack of situational judgemental ability a robot now is considered only as a surgical tool used by a surgeon in the process of a performing a surgical operation.

Implementation of robotic equipments by surgeons in healthcare has a great impact in areas of performing.

Minimally-invasive Surgical Techniques.

Robotic surgical equipments are tiny in size and require less area to perform their surgical functions. These instruments can penetrate deep inside the human body through very tiny incisions and perform surgery where otherwise human hand would be too complex to reach. Furthermore the ability of a surgeon are limited to the usage of only two hands when performing a surgery, with the use of remotely controlled robotic arms the surgeon can control the more than one arm and features of the machine. Use of robots in surgery has the advantage of assisting the surgeon to operate in increasing smaller spaces through increasingly smaller incisions.

Lower complication Rates:

Precise measurement and accuracy is a main advantage when implementing robots as a tool in performing complex surgical operations in the human anatomy. The odds of errors are less compared to the conventional method of hand based surgical procedures. The medical industry as a whole will profit from its lower complication rates and compensation payouts. Helps in generating more confidence from the society for undergo operations and provide a permanent cure for life threatening diseases, than providing a lifelong alternate treatment to the patients. Robotic surgical procedures requires less post operative patient care, recovery time and decreases the length of hospitalisation and leads to an overall cost benefit prospective. [10]

Assist, Oversee and Conduct Treatment Remotely:

With the progression of associated communication technology it is now practically possible for surgeons to overcome the hindrance of space by making it possible to conduct surgical procedures using robots from a distance in a virtual reality. A surgeon here in London can conduct or assist a complex surgical procedure on a patient across the Atlantic in real time. Cost saving on transportation and immediate patient care are beneficial to the patient or the Health Care establishment.[11]

Figure taken from:- Javad Dargari, Siamak Nagarajan, 2004, Advances in tactile sensors design/manufacturing and its impact on robotic applications, Study on Prostatectomies surgery survey.[5]

Performing a surgery is a fundamental act of human involvement to work against natural world in any healthcare system. Robotic surgery has been under rapid change since 1985, is in the developing stage and will play an important role in the evolution of surgical care in the years to come.

The figure below shows the survey conducted on the number of robotic coronary heart surgeries performed.

Figure taken from Pranjal H Desai, Richard Tran, Todd Steinwagner, 2010, Challenges of telerobotics in coronary bypass surgery, volume 7, pg 165-168[4]

Figure taken from: The Growth of Robotic Surgery. Available online at:

http://casit.ucla.edu/images/temp/robotic_q407.png [ Accessed on 2nd April 2010] [14]

The above figure depicts how many cases of robotic surgeries are performed in the years 2004 to 2007 and the various fields of surgeries. This figure explains the wide use of robotics in surgery in fields like paediatrics, general surgery, cardio thoracic surgery and urology.

Cholecystectomy with robotic surgical procedures takes more time compared to the normal laparoscopic procedures. All the procedures like injecting anaesthesia, time of surgery and operating room clearance are more compared to the normal procedures. This proves that robotic surgery has its shortcomings as well.

The surgery time is less in robotic cases compared to the normal procedures. More surgeries mean more time is saved and this results in more profits to the sector of medicine. The business on robotics moves at a higher rate with more number of surgeries performed.


Table taken from Shiva Jayaraman, Ward Davies, Christopher M Schalcta, 2009, Getting started with robotics in general surgery with cholecystectomy, [15]

It can understood from the above table that even though there are more number of patients, the time required to perform robotic surgery is very less. So, this results in more surgeries performed. With this, profits are more and the patients are benefitted so the core. So, this has wonderful society impacts as well.


Immediate Patient care:

Remotely operated robotic assisted surgeries facilitate the patient to be put into immediate surgical care if situation requires. Delaying surgical operations in areas of Neurosurgery and Cardiology will put the life of the patient under threat. These are areas where the supply of expert surgeons is not able to meet the demand; hence there might not be an immediate assistance of surgeon due to the hindrance of space. In such situations the surgeons can undergo a robotic surgery from a distant place, even though he is not able to be physically present earth e patient in time.

Micro incisions and fewer abrasions:

Use of robotic equipments as a tool while performing a surgery has the advantage of having to use less space to perform the function. Robotic arms are miniature in size compared to the size of a physical, human hand. Implementing robots in surgery aid the surgeon to operate in increasing smaller spaces through increasingly smaller incisions. Robotic surgery leaves minor post operative signs of abrasions on the upper tissues of the human body. Robotic surgical procedures require less recovery time and decrease the length of hospitalisation or post-operation patient resting period.

Benefits to the Society

Stay in the hospital is shorter

Pain in the post operative scenario is less

Blood loss is very less

Scarring is abysmally minimal

Complications in post operative care are less and also negligible. For example, the time required for open prostatectomy is 8 to 12 days where as for radical prostatectomies the hospital stay is only 1 to 3 days.


Any Emerging Technology can be successful only if the business market and people are benefitted at large because for the technology to emerge, the impacts it has on the society and business have to be positive and promising. The future of Nanotechnology will be promising and bright if the positive impacts outweigh the negative impacts. It can be safely concluded that Nanotechnology is a useful technology as the positive implications of it are unimaginably more compared to the very minute negative impacts. Enthusiasm is sparked at the highest levels of industry and government by Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is sure to grow immensely in the coming years because it is being talked about all over the world. Nanotechnology was cited in the state of the union address by George W. Bush. Nanotechnology was called a top priority for their firm by GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt.

Considering the huge impacts of Robotic Surgery on Business and Society, it can be very safely concluded that it is an emerging technology which will grow by leaps and bounds in the future as any technology which is beneficial is bound to experience huge development. For the surgeon, it is easy to perform the surgery and for the patient, benefits are unlimited. Major hospitals are conducting huge research on robotic surgery proving that it is a study of immense interest. The world market is expecting huge rewards because of the investments in this field and people at large are evincing huge interest in it.

Though these are emerging technologies, these are not without a few drawbacks. It can be concluded that any emerging technology can grow in the future if positive impacts are outweighed by the negative impacts. There has to be a striking balance in the impacts. Robotics in surgery has minimal risks like if the surgery is not performed properly, the patient's life can be in danger. Nanotechnology also has a few risks which are very less compared to the positive features of it. However, it is an emerging technology because the future of nanotechnology looks bright what with huge investments being put on it by the world market.