10 medical inventions that radically changed the world
Breakthrough medical inventions.
Medical science has always been one of the most progressive fields of science. Breakthroughs in medical science over the years have either opened up an alternative to ineffective earlier procedures, or created a solution to a previously unexplored medical problem. Technology has also played a major role in making medical science more effective and more indispensable than ever before. In this review, historical inventions that revolutionized medical science.
Before the stethoscope was invented, doctors listened to the heartbeat of their patients by putting their ear to their chest, which was a rather crude and ineffective method. For example, if the patient had a significant fat layer, this method did not work.
This is the situation faced by the French doctor Rene Lenneck, when he could not accurately assess the heart rate of one of his patients due to too much fat on his chest. He invented a “stethoscope” in the form of a wooden hollow tube that amplified sounds coming from the lungs and heart. This principle of sound amplification has not changed until now.
It is difficult to imagine proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries such as fractures without x-ray imaging technology. X-ray radiation was accidentally detected when the German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen studied the process of passing an electric current through a gas with extremely low pressure.
The scientist noticed that in a darkened room, a cathode-ray tube coated with barium-platinocyanide glows with fluorescent light. Since cathode rays are invisible, he did not know what kind of rays cause such a glow and called them x-rays. The scientist received the first ever Nobel prize in physics in 1901 for his discovery.
3. Mercury thermometer
Today, thermometers have become so ubiquitous that it is not even possible to determine who invented this device. Gabriel Fahrenheit first invented the mercury thermometer in 1714, which is still used today, although the first instance of a device for measuring temperature was invented by Galileo in the late 1500s. It was based on the principle of changing the density of a liquid relative to its temperature. However, today mercury thermometers are gradually being abandoned in favor of digital thermometers due to the risk of mercury poisoning.
People most often associate the appearance of antibiotics with the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. In fact, the history of antibiotics began in 1907 with the invention of “salvarsan” by Alfred Bertheim and Paul Ehrlich. Today, “salvarsan” is known as”arsphenamine”. This was the first drug that effectively counteracted syphilis, and it marked the beginning of antibacterial treatment.
Alexander Fleming’s discovery of the antibacterial features of penicillin in 1928 was that antibiotics received mass attention. Today, antibiotics have revolutionized medicine and, in combination with vaccines, have helped almost eradicate diseases such as tuberculosis.
5. Needle for subcutaneous injection
The hypodermic needle, for all its simplicity, was only invented about 150 years ago. Before that, in Ancient Greece and Rome, doctors used thin hollow instruments to inject fluids into the body. In 1656, the dog was given an intravenous injection through Christopher Wren’s goose quill.
The modern hypodermic needle was invented by Charles Pravaz and Alexander wood sometime in the mid-1800s. Today, such needles are used to deliver the correct dosage of medication into the body during treatment, as well as to extract biological fluids with minimal pain and risk of infection.
Glasses are one of the great medical breakthroughs that people usually take for granted. Today, it is no longer known who invented the first such device. Many centuries ago, scientists and monks used early prototypes of modern glasses that had to be held in front of their eyes manually. With the increasing availability of printed books in the late 1800s, the number of cases of myopia increased, leading to the introduction of glasses to the masses.
This important discovery was the fruit of the work of two Australian scientists, Mark C. hill and physicist Edgar H. booth in 1926. The prototype was a portable device, one of the poles of which was connected to a saline – soaked pillow, and the other to a needle that was inserted into the patient’s heart chamber. Despite the device’s crude design, researchers brought a stillborn baby back to life. Today, pacemakers are much more complex, and their average battery life is 20 years.
8. CT and MRI
The discovery of x-rays has led to a dramatic increase in efforts to find ways to access even more organs without directly cutting the body. This later led to the invention of the CT scanner. Its commercial version was invented by Dr. Godfrey Hounsfield, who won the Nobel prize in medicine in 1979.
The CT scanner could display” multiple layers of a person’s innards ” on multiple layers of x-ray images. Soon after, Dr. Raymond V. Damadian invented a method for differentiating cancer and normal cells using nuclear magnetic resonance, which was later improved and called MRI.
9. Prosthetics and implants
Life with physical disabilities is a very difficult experience, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. The invention of the prosthesis was a big breakthrough, allowing disabled people to live without being limited to wheelchairs and crutches.
The modern prosthesis is made of carbon fiber, which is lighter and stronger than metal, and also looks more realistic. Prostheses that are currently being developed have built-in myoelectric sensors that allow you to control the prostheses with brain impulses.
10. A heart defibrillator
Heart defibrillation is not a recent concept. But although it has been known for decades, for its introduction to clinical practice, we can thank Claude Beck, who successfully defibrillated the boy’s heart during surgery. Today, defibrillators save millions of lives around the world.