Have you ever wondered what the top 5 greatest medical inventions are? We’re showing you why they help more than the many other products in the field today.
Top 5 Greatest Medical Inventions
X-ray technology has earned the number one spot in this top 10 list, having transformed the understanding of the body and healthcare administration. The first X-ray image was generated in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen and was of his hand. The first use of X-rays in a medical setting came less than a month after Röntgen published a paper on their ability to produce images of the internal structure of the body.
The short wave lengths that X-rays have enable them to penetrate thick matter and the black, white and grey 2D images they produce are the result of varying rates of absorption of different tissues. One of the main advances that has come as a result of X-ray technology is the CAT-scan. Using X-rays to produce 3D images of the body, the CAT scan has transformed diagnoses, enabling doctors to see not just the location, but the size and depth of tumours.
French stethoscope inventor René Laennec came up with the idea in 1816. His initial interpretation consisted of a wooden tube, with a wide and narrow end and was similar to hearing aids of that time. Later developments of stethoscopes saw the addition of flexible tubes, double ear pieces and improved acoustics. Stethoscopes are today one of the most important tools for doctors.
Bandages for wounds had been around since ancient times, but an easy-to-use dressing with an adhesive was invented by Earle Dickson (a cotton buyer at the Johnson & Johnson company). Dickson perfected the BAND-AID® in 1920, making a small, sterile adhesive bandage for home use. Dickson invented the BAND-AID® for his wife, who had many kitchen accidents and needed an easy-to-use wound dressing. Dickson was rewarded by the Johnson & Johnson company by being made a vice-president of the company.
The MRI machine contains a very strong magnet. When people go into the machine, the hydrogen atoms in their body line up with the magnetic field. The machine applies a radio-frequency pulse, which is not harmful like the radiation used in X-rays and CT scans. That pulse knocks the hydrogen atoms out of alignment. After the pulse, the atoms realign and release a signal that’s picked up by a receiver coil, which is like an antenna. A computer translates these signals into images.
5. An ingested pill health-feedback system
Even though it will take approximately two more years before it enters the production phase, the pill health-feedback system already looks promising. Developed by Proteus Digital, the main function of the pill is to help physicians gain relevant feedback regarding their patients and track the results of the treatments. It is necessary to mention that the system is simple and ingenious, considering that the patient will have to ingest a pill that will afterwards send binary signals to a patch placed on the patient’s abdominal area.
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