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IBM NZ Centennial Innovation Survey Infographic IBM NZ Centennial Innovation Survey Infographic CREDIT: IBM

Healthcare or the Internet – what is the most significant breakthrough of the last 100 years?

Tuesday 24 May 2011, 6:52AM
By IBM
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Women rate disease prevention and healthcare but men rate the Internet as the biggest breakthrough of the last 100 years, according to IBM Centennial Innovation survey of 1000 New Zealanders 

There are sharp differences between the genders’ opinions over the most significant innovation of the last 100 years, according to the IBM Centennial survey1 which polled more than 1000 New Zealanders to coincide with the company’s 100th anniversary. 

While 41% of females rate disease prevention and treatment as the most influential breakthrough of the last 100 years, only 22% of males rate it as the top breakthrough.  Instead, 29% of males rate the Internet as the greatest science and technology breakthrough.

On average, 32% of all New Zealanders cited disease prevention and treatment as the most influential and 29% of people cited the Internet.  Differences of gender opinion arise again with the innovation ranked third in the study with 14% of total respondents citing computing as the most significant breakthrough. However, 19% of males rated computing as influential compared with only 9% of females. At the bottom of the list and rated by fewer than 3% of people as the top breakthrough were television, space exploration, air travel and mass car production.

The IBM Centennial survey was conducted to coincide with IBM’s 100th anniversary and polled more than 1000 New Zealanders of mixed age, gender and location, on their views of most significant breakthroughs of the last 100 years in general, at work and personally.

Dougal Watt, Chief Technologist for IBM New Zealand says, “Healthcare and the Internet are both areas where science and innovation have contributed massive improvements to our personal and economic wellbeing, as individuals and as a country.  The modern healthcare and networks that we take for granted today really result from 100 years worth of innovations, all building on each other.

“In the next 100 years we can expect to see innovations from the computer networking world making a huge difference to healthcare, by improving clinical collaboration and allowing more patient-centred care.

“These are critical areas that New Zealand government, businesses and academics are investing large amounts of research effort into, as does IBM globally.”

1. The Most Influential Science and Technology Breakthroughs of the Last 100 Years 

Younger New Zealanders are more likely to have a positive disposition towards biotechnology and genetic research, with 8% of Generation Y respondents2 considering it the most important compared to just 3% of Baby Boomers. 

Most influential breakthrough in the last 100 years

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2. The Most Positive Impact on New Zealand Business in the Last 100 Years

Globalisation is considered to be the number one breakthrough to have impacted New Zealand business in the last 100 years.

Business tools, including computers, typewriters, calculators and faxes, are rated the second most impactful on our business landscape over the last 100 years, with 17% selecting this as most significant. The third most popular option at 14% was business connectivity through networked computers, which also reflects a growing recognition of the role of technology and computing in the workplace.

Many workplace improvements are more important to Generation Y than Baby Boomers.  At 14%, Generation Y is twice as likely to rate workplace equality compared with Baby Boomers at 7%.  This is similar for employer training at 12% for Generation Y versus 6% for Baby Boomers.

Most positive impact on New Zealand Business in the last 100 years

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3. The Most Positive Impact on How New Zealanders Live in the Last 100 Years

Finally, respondents were questioned on the breakthroughs of the last 100 years which have positively impacted on New Zealanders’ lives, with public healthcare and modern medicine identified as the clear winner by 23% of New Zealanders.

The Internet, along with public electricity and water through grids were rated the equal second most significant innovation citied by 15% of people. 

Public education is rated fourth, with 13% of New Zealanders considering it the innovation having most positive impact. Generation Y (17%) attach greater importance to public education than Generation X (12%) or Baby Boomers (13%).

Most positive impact on the way New Zealanders live in the last 100 years

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For further information on IBM’s top innovations over the last century, please visit IBM’s 100 Icons of Progress at www.ibm.com/ibm100/us/en/icons/

 

Most influential breakthrough in the last 100 years % respondents
Disease prevention and treatment  
(such as antibiotics, chemotherapy, eradication of smallpox)
32%
The Internet 29%
Computing (such as mainframe computers, discs,memory, PCs) 14%
Biotechnology and genetic research 5%
Mobile communications 4%
Transistors 3%
Laser and fibre optics technology 2%
Space exploration 2%
New scientific theories (such as quantum mechanics, general and special relativity) 2%
Commercial air travel 1%
Mass car production 1%
Television 1%
Nuclear power 1%

 

Most positive impact on New Zealand Business in the last 100 years % respondents
Globalisation 18%
Business tools (such as typewriters, calculators,fax, computers) 17%
Business connectivity through networkedComputers 14%
Workforce equality 11%
Occupational Health and Safety standards/Regulations 10%
e-Commerce/ e-Business 10%
Employer education/ training 8%
Workplace relations/ unionisation 6%
Corporate governance and structure 2%
Corporate philanthropy 0%

 

Most positive impact on the way New Zealanders live in the last 100 years % respondents
Public healthcare and modern medicine 23%
The internet 15%
Public availability of electricity and water through grids 15%
Public education 13%
Modern farming and agricultural techniques and supply chain (including refrigeration) 10%
Modern transportation and Infrastructure (including railways, cars, highways, airports) 9%
Communication devices (including telephony and mobile phones) 7%
Social welfare services 4%